End National Signing Day?

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End National Signing Day?

Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt speaks to fans during a signing day press conference on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 in Athens, Ga. (Photo by Sean Taylor)
[su_spacer size=”20″] National Signing Day has evolved into a media bonanza. Not only do sites like BI the annual ditch-work day in Athens but gigantic networks like ESPN provide high school seniors the opportunity to play hat games and showcase other forms of ego-enhancing self-promotion. I keep waiting for a host to breathlessly exclaim, “is that your final answer?”
[su_spacer size=”40″] Several college coaches have proposed that national signing day become a thing of the past. Although I would miss the opportunity to seal friends each year, NSD is an event whose time has passed.
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”Sports Illustrated” url=”http://www.si.com/college-football/2015/02/11/national-signing-day-elimination-rich-rodriguez-arizona”] Eliminate Signing Day entirely. Let coaches sign players whenever they want. The idea may sound irresponsible, but in practice, it would force coaches to exercise more caution lest they gamble away an entire recruiting class. They would have to consider all the ramifications before making an offer. A coach can sign a 300-pound offensive tackle after the prospect’s junior season, but if one of those all-you-can-eat buffets with the oh-so-delicious yeast rolls opens next to his school and Tiny balloons to 600 pounds in the ensuing 16 months, that coach had better order an XXXXXXL practice jersey, because he’s stuck with the butterball.
[/su_quote] [su_spacer size=”40″] What if every player receiving an offer could accept and sign a letter of intent immediately?
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”AL.com” url=”http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/02/no_more_national_signing_day_y.html”] No more verbal commitments that don’t commit anyone to do anything. No more de-commitments. No more offers that aren’t really offers because if another recruit at your position says yes first, your spot is gone.
[su_spacer size=”10″] It just might make coaches think twice about throwing out 125 offers when they can sign only 25 players. It just might make players get more serious about choosing a school rather than a coach.
[su_spacer size=”10″] It just might slow down the entire recruiting process.
[su_spacer size=”10″] Even though you as a coach could offer at any time, too many offers too soon could leave you in a bind. You can’t always be sure if that physically mature sophomore or junior is going to make his grades and test scores.
[su_spacer size=”10″] Even though you as a high school player could sign in the spring of your junior year, accepting the first major offer you get would eliminate other potential options. And you better be sure because the National Letter of Intent has no out clause if your head coach, coordinator or position coach leaves.
[/su_quote] Here is a glimpse at signing day prior to the hype:
[su_spacer size=”20″] [su_youtube_advanced url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dx6giTGk2mE” autohide=”no”] [su_spacer size=”20″]

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.