Boys Varsity Football
Read the article at JDNews Sports link: http://www.jdnews.com/sports/20171220/northsides-wilson-locked-in-signs-with-ecu
PIRATES INK 19 FOR FOOTBALL SIGNING CLASS; 13 IN-STATE PLAYERS:(Jordan Honeycutt/NBSJ)http://www.jdnews.com/sports/20171220/pirates-ink-19-for-football-signing-class-13-in-state-players
MAJORITY OF TOP PROSPECTS CAPITALIZE ON NEW EARLY SIGNING PERIOD...(Steve Megargee/ The Associated Press)
The relevance of the traditional National Signing Day in early February may have just taken a major hit.
Under a policy that took effect this year, high school seniors could sign letters of intent during an early signing period that began Wednesday and runs through Friday. The vast majority decided they didn’t want to wait to pick their schools: Of the nation’s top 25 prospects as determined by a composite ranking from 247Sports only a handful are delaying their decisions to February.
“I think most people know where they’re going to college before December, so I feel like people don’t feel like they have to wait until February now,” said Knoxville (Tennessee) Catholic offensive tackle Cade Mays, one of three previously uncommitted five-star recruits to sign with Georgia on Wednesday .
Perhaps that means most prospects will finalize their recruiting process well before the traditional February signing day going forward.
“I think it’s probably going to be the wave of the future,” said Mike Farrell, the director of recruiting for Rivals. “I think kids copy kids. I think you’ll see this next year, where Signing Day in February will be devalued a bit.”
247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons wasn’t so sure.
“I don’t know that today’s a huge indicator of what’s to come because I think a lot of prospects and colleges will both learn from this,” Simmons said. “I know that colleges will continue to press for kids to sign early. Whether this many kids sign early in the future, I think is going to be determined (later).”
Farrell noted the December signing period hasn’t garnered as much media attention as the traditional February signing date and wondered if that could cause some future prospects to hold off on signing early.
The early signing period has drawn mixed reviews from coaches.
Proponents say it allows prospects to finish the college selection process early. It also enables coaching staffs to spend January and February focusing on unsigned prospects rather than worrying about their entire class. But it also forces coaches to concentrate more on recruiting when many are also preparing for postseason games.
New coaches faced particular challenges as they had little time to establish rapport with recruits before the December signing period.
It’s been a wild ride, to say the least, over 13 days,” said Chad Morris, who took over as Arkansas’ coach two weeks ago . “When you walk into a young man’s house and you’re trying to build a relationship that could have been 2 1/2 months or two months of building from December all the way through January to get to February signing day ... Now, all of a sudden, you walk in and you try to build that relationship — or a twoyear relationship, if we had been established longer — in 20 minutes or an hour.”
Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly liked how the early signing period gave him the opportunity to complete most of his recruiting class before Christmas.