David Sills at Giants training camp on Aug. 17, 2020.

David Sills at Giants training camp on Aug. 17, 2020. Credit: Giants.com/Matthew Swensen

You may have some familiarity with David Sills’ name from headlines he made earlier this preseason. He was the first Giants player to test positive for COVID-19 when the team began reporting to training camp in late July. While he was asymptomatic, he had to be quarantined for 10 days before returning to the field.

You also may be vaguely aware of David Sills’ background, if not his name. A decade ago he created a stir in the sports world when, as a seventh-grade quarterback in Delaware, he verbally committed to a scholarship offer from USC. He eventually wound up at West Virginia instead, but his unique situation shined a light on the absurdity of top-level colleges scouting and recruiting middle schoolers.

But here’s the most important thing to know about David Sills right now. Not that he is a wide receiver for the Giants, that he spent most of 2019 on the team’s practice squad, or that he is in the midst of a very strong preseason despite the rocky start. And it comes from Daniel Jones.

“He’s a guy out there you can trust,” the quarterback said of Sills.

Truly, is there anything more you need to know?

“It’s awesome to hear that the starting quarterback does trust you and trusts that you are going to be in the right spot, to make a play when the ball is in the air,” Sills said on Sunday.

He said he thinks he started earning that during the offseason when he tried to attend as many unofficial passing sessions and workouts as he could with Jones, and then built upon it when the team finally came together in an official capacity in July. He also attributes his rapidly growing connection with Jones to “trying to see through the lens of him so that you can be where he thinks you are going to be and there is no disconnect.”

That’s one aspect of his game where Sills benefits from having been a quarterback for most of his life. It wasn’t until he was a freshman at West Virginia that he started to transition to receiver, having lined up on the scout team in a pinch one day and making the gears in the coaches’ heads start to spin. He no longer plays quarterback, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t think like one.

“I do think it was an advantage to make the transition a little more smoothly,” he said.

If anyone can appreciate that position switch, it might be Giants head coach Joe Judge. He was in New England for most of the process as that team took a quarterback in the seventh round and turned him into a Super Bowl MVP receiver. Judge was even Julian Edelman’s position coach last year when he worked with the wide receivers as well as the special teams.

Sills is a bit different from Edelman, though. Rather than undersized and gritty, Sills is the biggest receiver on the Giants at 6-3 and 211. That makes him a welcome target for Jones, especially in the red zone.

Sills does have that scrappiness of Edelman, though.

“He’s a rep stealer,” wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said. “He’s going to go in and run his reps, but then he’ll steal some other reps. If he sees guys running down the field, he’ll jump in there and say: ‘I got them, I got them.’ I like that about him. He jumps in there, doesn’t matter what position it is. He goes in there and plays and executes his assignments.”

Sills pleaded guilty to that charge.

What remains to be seen is if he can steal a spot on the 53-man roster. The Giants have three strong starters in Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate and Darius Slayton. They also have a capable veteran fourth receiver in Corey Coleman. On the other end of the depth chart, the Giants signed several high-profile rookie free agents after the draft, including Austin Mack and Binjimen Victor from Ohio State. It’s a crowded position and there is no guarantee that Sills will remain with the Giants when they trim their roster by Saturday.

Sills said he doesn’t think about that. He’ll simply go out on the field each day for each practice and try to improve. He’ll trust in the system.

Just as Jones trusts in him.

Sills spoke about his positive COVID-19 test publicly for the first time on Sunday, saying he was “bummed out” by the diagnosis.

“Obviously when it first happened and I knew I had to stay quarantined I was a little upset, really with myself because obviously I was exposed to it somewhere when I thought I was being safe about the whole deal,” Sills said. “But as time went on, the trainers really assured me I wasn’t going to miss much time.”

Sills spent about a month on the active roster at the end of 2019, so he was eligible to report to training camp early with rookies, quarterbacks and others coming off injuries. By the time he finished his quarantine, he was walking back into the facility at about the same time the veterans on the team were clearing their protocols and ready to start working.

“I was able to Zoom in to all of the meetings, and I had to really make sure that when I came back I didn’t miss a step mentally,” he said. “As time went on I realized I wasn’t going to be missing much and I was able to hop right back in the group as soon as I got back.”

There were, naturally, some non-football concerns when he found out he had tested positive. Those disappeared quickly as well.

“I wouldn’t say it was scary,” he said. “I was a little shocked because I was asymptomatic and I didn’t know I had contracted the virus in any way. It was kind of like, ‘OK, I need to be really cautious because I don’t want to be around anybody to get anybody else infected.’ But because I was asymptomatic, being a younger guy, I knew the chances were pretty high I would be able to get through it clear and it’s seemed to be that way.”

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