After years of debate of discussion, the NCAA announced last month that it would enact an early signing period. Earlier today, the Collegiate Commissioners Association announced that the college football early signing period will begin December 20th, 2017 and will run until December 22nd. These dates coincide with the first three days of the midyear junior college signing period.
College football previously had one signing period, which was on the first Wednesday of February. That signing period will continue,but this college football early signing period is a game changer that many top recruits are expected to take advantage of.
The reaction from outside of the Power 5 programs is likely a positive one.
Spoke to a non-Power5 coach thrilled about new early signing period: “We hustle to get em evaluated & then big schools swoop in & poach em.”
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 8, 2017
This is huge for the non-Power 5 programs, who are continuing to be left behind by the massive television money gap versus Power 5 programs. Anything that gives these schools a slight leg up, along with some of the lesser Power 5 programs, is a good thing for the competitive stability in the sport.
As for the trickle-down effect, Division II schools will vote in June as to whether or not they should adopt the December signing period as well.
Also, as has been expected, the Division I Council approved changes to the official visit program. Prospects will now be allowed to start taking visits after April 1 of their junior year of high school. But, this change does not get underway immediately. It will go into effect April 1, 2018. So that means those prospects in the Class of 2018 are still under the previous rules, which states they can only take official visits after the start of their senior year of high school.
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