Will National Signing Day Move To December?

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Will National Signing Day Move To December?

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″] The Collegiate Commissioners Association is set to vote this week on establishing an earlier signing day for college football. The new signing period will begin December 16, last 72 hours and coincide with the current junior college signing date. 
[su_spacer size=”40″] [su_quote style=”modern-light” cite=”Early signing period primer” url=”http://espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/13077055/what-need-know-vote-proposed-early-signing-period”] For some who oppose an early period, the most significant concern is this: It won’t be an early signing period. It will become the signing period.

“What we’re proposing is not an early signing date,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “What we’re proposing is moving the signing date forward.”

Already, said Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, the process starts too early. He said he’s uncomfortable with offering scholarships to players that he and his staff do not know well. Further acceleration of the process would only deepen the problem, Clawson said.

It stands to reason, if December turns into the preferred signing date — or even an alternative to February — recruits who would otherwise visit campus in January might visit in the fall. In the fall, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said, they’re supposed to focus on high school football.

“[The recruit is] going to stay up all weekend, enjoy the official visit, get back to his high school and be absolutely wore out for his high school team,” said Freeze, who coached high school football in Tennessee as recently as 2004. “That is not a good thing for our relationship with high school coaches.”

And shouldn’t college coaches prioritize the players on their rosters above all else during the season?

“We want to do right by our current players and we want to be as well prepared as we possibly can,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said.
[/su_quote] [su_spacer size=”40″] It is going to be interesting to see how the new signing period changes the recruiting process and the industry that has grown up around National Signing Day.

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Greg is closing in on 15 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.