Mailbag question: Another question on the early signing period?


Hey Eroc,

Thanks for the link you put on GBW for me regarding early signing day.

When you say that the conferences would not allow an early signing day for recruits, what does that mean? They all enjoy poaching each other’s committed players? I really just don’t understand why this won’t get put in place, maybe like a month or two before regular signing day. You have to think what type of bind the current system puts everyone dealing with this process.

Thanks, man,



Thanks for the question.

In our opinion all an early conference signing day will do is drive good players to other conferences.

If a player decides his first commitment is not right, he will go elsewhere, whether he plays in the Big Ten or a different conference is mostly irrelevant to a player. The big problem is what to do with a player that commits early and then the coaching staff is fired, retires, or is replaced. Does the NCAA grant the early signer a release, or will the player have to ask the school he committed to for the release?

We think the reason kids are committing earlier and earlier is because they are get tired of the process: from all the coaches calling, from all the media (internet reporters, print media, TV media, etc.) When you have ten schools calling your house, you subsequently get about fifty different calls from the media. Also, coaches are putting more pressure on kids to commit earlier, as well, to help with the recruiting of other kids. They do this by telling kids that their spot will not be saved, so they only have a short window of time to accept their offer.

The problem with having an earlier signing period, such as in November or December, is that this would mean the whole recruiting process would begin even earlier. Do you allow kids to start taking official visits during the summer or keep it the same? A lot of kids will feel pressured to take all five of their visits during their own season, and if they have to travel a great distance, then that could negatively impact their own football season, since some of these high schools play into late November or early December in playoff games.

We’re not sure Michigan would benefit from an early signing period either, especially since they have to concentrate so much on outside-the-area recruiting, where they’re not as familiar with the talent. A place like Ohio State would love an earlier signing period, because they probably get 75% of their kid from within Ohio. They see these kids early in camps and have a better feel for who they might want try and get committed early before other programs even get a chance to look at them.

Texas is another program that tries to actually get the next class rolling even before the previous signing day. They are big on telling kids that they only have so much time to commit or would be by-passed for talent elsewhere. All this happening eight months ahead of signing period. They try to get the bulk of their recruiting class wrapped up by summer.

The current date is early enough to us. It seems that football recruiting is becoming more and more like basketball recruiting, where you are recruiting 2-3 years ahead of signing time to ensure you’re showing the kids your interest in them.

The coaches actually wanted an early signing day, as much as nearly 75% of them voted for it, but the conference’s athletic directors nixed the idea, probably not wanting to open the whole new “can of worms” an early signing day would bring.

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Written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine