The Effects of the Early Signing Date in College Football

The new NCAA rule that allows for an early signing date is something that has been intensely debated between college football coaches the last twenty years. It looks like this is the year it will finally pass. Who will benefit?

I think the schools that are located in heavily populated areas will have a huge advantage over those schools that are located in less populated areas. I also think it will hurt the schools that recruit nationally. Why?

Recruiting is about relationships. Which school can build a trusting relationship between the prospect and the recruiting coach, position coach and head coach? This type of relationship takes time. The more times you can get the prospect on your campus, the better chance you have to build a relationship. Let’s look at the University of Miami for example.

The Hurricanes are located right in the middle of Dade and Broward Counties. These two counties produce more college football players than any other place in the country. Therefore, the ability and frequency in which the University of Miami can get the prospect and his family and friends on campus gives them a huge advantage in developing that “trust” factor that is so important in building a relationship.

An early signing date, gives schools like Michigan, Penn State, Clemson, Alabama, etc., who want to recruit these athletes from Dade and Broward counties, less time to get them on their campus multiple times. I saw one recruiting service that had the University of Miami ranked #1 in recruiting for the 2018 signing class.

Even though the new legislation will not be voted on for final approval until June, look for the schools in these heavy populated areas to gradually start reaping the benefits of the early signing date. You may also see the schools that traditionally recruit nationally and travel long distances, reduce their recruiting radius in order to get prospects on their campus more frequently.

No matter what school you follow in college football, this new NCAA legislation will force them to change how they recruit from here on out.


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