Talk of allowing December early signing date for National Letters of Intent for FBS and FCS schools. By the end of the month this matter should be settled following an upcoming vote. ESPN broke the story Monday about the CCA experimenting with new recruiting regulations.
Currently, there no early signing date for collegiate football program. However, most other collegiate sports except soccer and mens’ water polo have early signing date the second week of November. This new regulation can take effect as early as 2016 with a review coming after two year of experimenting with the new rule.
So, how will an early signing date affect Senior football players hoping to get to the next level?
First, it means for some players recruiting will speed up while for others it will slow down. Secondly, collegiate hopefuls will have to rethink they way they approach the college recruiting process both athletically and academically.
Here’s a general breakdown of what to anticipate.
Undoubtably, recruiting will speed up for prospects that are high on the recruiting boards. These athletes will be identified much earlier and recruited with more intensity. We can count of this because college coaches will need to be more aggressive with blue-chip players to make sure another school doesn’t steal them away.
As a result, this intense focus will cause recruiting to slow down for prospects that aren’t primary targets for the December declaration day. These prospects will likely experience a lag in communication with college coaches. Make no mistake, college coaches will benefit from the additional time permitted by the early signing date to pick and choose the most ideal player, or players, to fill the remaining roster spots. But for the rest, this process might become tedious and perhaps stressful.
So where do we go from here? Simple. Recruiting exposure needs to start earlier and athletes will have to be on top of their core courses and ACT/SAT tests to make sure they are early academic qualifiers.
Most certainly, athletes must be on the coach’s recruiting radar by the Sophomore year to get a pen and paper placed before them in December. Furthermore, athletes will need more aggressive with their strategy to get seen, scouted and recruited. Clearly, the advantage goes to players able to play at the varsity level as underclassmen, who take the initiative to get quality recruiting exposure and perform well in the classroom.
In the end, while the vote has yet to be cast, it is expected to pass. So athletes better start preparing for it.
Coach Mike Woosley is a National Scouting Director at CSA-PrepStar. As a professional collegiate sports scout Mike works with qualified next level student-athletes to find the right college athletic and academic fit. Comments and questions are always welcome.