Spring Signing Period

Wednesday, April 17, begins the spring signing period for high school student athletes recruited to play collegiate sports. This date also marks the final signing period for the class of 2019. As time is slowing running out for the 2019 class, opportunities are still available for qualified and committed high school and junior college athletes. 

April 17-August 1 mark the final signing period for 2019 college bound student athletes.

Looking at the dates for the  spring signing period is is clear that this period is considerably long. Actually, ending on August 1, 2019 the spring signing period targets those in regions where spring sports begin in late March or April then finish in June or in some rare cases July. 

The long spring signing period provides college coaches the opportunity to fill roster spots left open from the previous season.  Throughout the season of a collegiate sports program things happen that result in available roster spots. Teams often lose players to the draft, while some athletes decommit and others succumb to injury others simply retire from the game. Whatever the reason, the late season signing period provides college coaches the opportunity to fill rosters with talent athletes. Consequently, qualified high school and junior college athletes can find a roster spot and a college home. Additionally, college bound athletes can sign with colleges through Jul 31st. 

In summary, the spring signing season means that there is still time left for 2019’s, but admittedly not much. Uncommitted unsigned high school athlete still hoping to compete at the college level for the 2019-2020 season need to be very aggressive and very proactive with communication with coaches. It is advantageous to express sincere interest, but don’t expect coaches to make an offer until after their season is over. Lastly, when the spring signing period closes its only 90 days later that the fall signing period begins for 2020’s.

Early signing day for football could speed up the recruiting process for some and slow it dow for others

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.

NLI signing dates could undergo a monumental change following an upcoming vote of FBS and FCS representatives.
NLI signing dates could undergo a monumental change following an upcoming vote of FBS and FCS representatives.

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.

Twitter: @michaelwoosley