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Recruiting Radar: What the Early Signing Day rule means for Miami

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Our look at the NCAA’s newly-passed Early Signing Day for Football

Russell Athletic Bowl - Miami v West Virginia Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

On Friday morning, the NCAA voted on a couple new changes to the world of recruiting.

Here’s a good piece on the changes by SBNation Recruiting analyst Bud Elliot

For the “Cam, just tell me what happened!” crowd, here’s your Cliff’s Notes explainer:

  1. There will now be a 3-day long early signing period for Football recruiting. This period for early signing will take place in December, and begin THIS YEAR.
  2. Signing “early” is the same as signing on National Signing Day. A signature on a National Letter of Intent is binding.
  3. Coaches will now be able to recruit earlier in the year, during camps and clinics (as mentioned in the NCAA’s tweet at the top of this piece).
  4. While the full verbiage of the change in point 3 hasn’t been released yet, the camps at which coaches can recruit will likely be on-campus events, not off-campus or “satellite” camps.
  5. Not only will there be an early signing period, but players can potentially take Official Visits early, as well. Those would be from April of a prospect's junior year through the Sunday before the last Wednesday in June (effective August 2017). This is another interesting item to watch.


Here’s the full release on the recruiting changes from the NCAA


Now, the main thing for those of us around these parts is “what does this new rule mean for Miami?” To which, I offer the following thoughts:

The early signing period will be good for keeping recruiting classes together (for the most part). There will always be kids who flip and late-cycle recruiting drama, but for guys who are locked in (Trajan Bandy, Duke Johnson, Charles Perry, Lorenzo Lingard(?)), having the ability to sign early is a good thing. If the process has been shut down, then finalize it with a signature.

Also, the early signing period will help with early enrollees. As of now, early enrollees don’t actually “sign”. They are given Grant-in-aid agreements (binding for the school, not the player), but just kind of show up, enroll, then they’re added to the roster and scholarship allocation. Adding the early signing period lets the Early Enrollees have all the fanfare of National Signing Day, even though their choice has already been made.

A third thought is that the early signing period will allow Miami (and others) to “play defense” with their recruits. The days of 27 decommitments a cycle — thanks Al Golden — are long gone, but there are always kids who can, and do, flip late in the process. Think about a Latrell Williams from 2 years ago. With an early signing period, if those kids sign (and some will), then the late charge to flip them becomes null and void.

While this recruiting legislation is brand new (it was only voted on this morning), I’m interested to see how it works in practice. No, every kid in a recruiting class won’t sign early, but who will? and how will it affect the construction of a team’s recruiting class?

The early signing period is new to football, but not new to the NCAA. Basketball has had such a signing period for many years, and that recruiting system is fine. Miami has used the early basketball signing period to great advantage recently, and hopefully the football team will do the same.

Those are my early thoughts on the new early signing period. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below.

Go Canes