It's Time For SEC Football To Address An Early Signing Day

By Brad Stephens
Phil Sears - USA TODAY Sports
Phil Sears – USA TODAY Sports

It’s only April and SEC schools are filling their commitment lists with unprecedented quickness. With several schools already in double digits and several others soon to follow, this recruitment cycle has been like this past winter in the South – an unexpected flurry of activity.

All of this has once again raised the question, should major college football have an early signing day? Many SEC coaches have fallen on the “nay” side of this argument, citing the impact on timing in the recruiting game. More or less, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The concern about timing is valid. Based upon the date chosen for the early signing period, official visit schedules would change drastically. As it stands, official visits cannot take place until Sept. 1. If the early signing date was in August, many players would have to officially visit in the spring or summer.

Coaches would have to basically be on-call 365 days a year dealing with two signing periods. Not only would that take away from valuable team preparation, it would certainly reduce coaches’ personal time. The college football coaching world is already a grind, and eliminating a large portion of their spring and summer break may not be the answer.

However, if players could seal the deal earlier than February of 2015, coaches would be able to devote resources to positions of need for the rest of the later cycle. Why stop a kid who wants to sign the dotted line, one who is now a guaranteed team member who could influence someone in the “wait-and-see” crowd?

Not to mention, a good portion of the useless drama would be eliminated and the constant coddling, Tweeting, Facebooking and damage control would fall by the wayside. There is no telling how much time SEC coaches spend sweating over recruits who are constantly bombarded by coaches and fans of other schools, no matter how solid their verbal commitment may be.

It’s clear that an early signing period cannot happen immediately. Schools and recruits would have to be prepared financially and scholastically to take on this new phase of recruiting. Yet, a trial period should take place in the near future. Let’s all see what a fall recruiting cycle is like when 10-12 people are already in place.

The early signing period could be a breath of fresh air or absolute chaos, but the silent grumble of years past has become a much louder roar in the present. The modern recruiting game is changing the landscape of college football, and the schools and coaches are going to be forced to change with it.

Brad Stephens is an SEC Football writer for Feel free to follow on Twitter @bradstephens320 or add him to your Google network.

You May Also Like