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The huddle

July 6, 2017

NCAA Recruiting Calendar: Early December Signing Period

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The recruiting official visit dates and signing dates have been moved up. In a vote, the NCAA’s Division 1 Council gave the go-ahead for an early signing date, this will be from December 20-22, for college football.

The Division 1 Council has approved a change to the recruiting calendar allowing recruits to go on official visits beginning April 1st of their junior year in high school. Not all coaches, recruiters, and schools agree with this. Some schools that support the early signing period argue that this allows for them to identify the spots in which they need to fill on their rosters. A positive aspect to this early December signing is it allows for students to feel comfortable as a senior in high school. Student-athletes are caught up in the crazy recruiting process during the final months of their academic year. By signing in November, the recruit would be rewarded for work they do on the field and in the classroom with security for the future. The athlete can then finish his or her senior season without worrying about where they may end up come February.

Big schools feel as though the early signing date will cause chaos because it is during football bowl season.When it comes to recruiting, the early signing date may cause recruits to feel pressure when it comes to making a decision knowing that they may have the opportunity to sign in December. There is also a concern that recruits might lose out on better offers. As for late bloomers, football coaches might not be able to review the prospects senior highlights thoroughly. Therefore, student-athletes who have not reached their full potential until their senior year would lose out on multiple opportunities.

The December signing date will join the traditional early February date. This is part of a comprehensive reform package to the sport’s recruiting model that included everything from the addition of a 10th assistant coach for FBS programs to significant changes to the summer camp model and the recruiting calendar.

In the end, the college football recruiting landscape has undergone significant alterations in recent years. With the addition of the early December signing period to the NCAA recruiting calendar, the NCAA is trying to improve the college football recruiting landscape.


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