The NCAA has recently changed the football recruiting rules, which will certainly have an impact across the country in the coming years. The major change is that the NCAA added another singing period. National Signing Day which was held the first week in February, has basically become a national holiday in college football. Now we are going to get two signing periods. The first period will be held in December. Instead of just being one more day in December, there will be a three day period.
This move will certainly alter the dynamic of recruiting since the national letters of intent don’t have to be rushed in by a certain time on one day. Now we have multiple spaces to operate in. For the five star prospects at least most of them, the original February period will probably remain in tact. There will still be the craziness around the most sought out players, including the typical shenanigans that always goes down that time of year. However for the two and three star guys, this new recruiting period takes off quite a bit of pressure of having to be buried by the five star recruits. They will get a few chances to make a final decision.
What this new system will do is help the non power conference schools, especially in Florida. With Florida being one of the top states for recruiting and the entire nation, the smaller schools in the state will have more space to operate and sign local guys. It’s going to be rare for UCF and USF to be able to land consistent five star recruits year in and year out. Usually these schools depend on three and maybe a few four star recruits if they are lucky. For FAU and FIU, this new system will likely help them the best. Basically the lower you go in FBS, this new system will help. Neither of those schools are going to get a five or even a four star recruit.
Now these schools can focus on trying to land some of these two and three star recruits early. What that does is that it can take pressure off some of these young men to be able to make their decision before the new semester. And this is where the major help comes in. With this new recruiting period, players can sign their NOI before the spring semester. Let’s say they are set to graduate in December, they can enroll in January and be ready for Spring ball early. This is going to be able to get the rising freshman comfortable with the playbook and be in great position come Fall camp.
Think about how much further along someone will be, when they have six months of college football training, from the drills, to the weight rooms to the diet. Of course Florida, FSU and Miami are going to work on getting in guys early too, but we don’t know yet if there is going to be a huge shift in the blue chippers singing early. This is a wait and see kind of deal.
For the non power programs, though, since their margin of error is much smaller, getting in guys early can only help their causes. It also will take the pressure off the coaches to have one day to hit a home run. They have multiple chances now to get a solid recruiting class together.
For the power programs this change, likely won’t hurt them. It will be an adjustment, but top players are going to sign with these schools regardless. For the non power teams however, this could be a major help. Especially in a talent rich state as Florida, where we may end up seeing a lot more people staying put instead of leaving the state. We can only speculate at this time though.