Christmas in early December is coming! Oh yeah, I’m talking about the early signing period and YOU need to be prepared for what this entails. But first, let’s explain what early signing day is and what it means for your special little program. Disclaimer: please excuse the number of times I accidentally type “singing.” If you could make your brain do that thing where it reads what it’s supposed to rather than what’s actually written, that would be great. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
ANYWAY, early signing day is the period in which a high school recruit, if willing and eligible, can sign with a college program, and early enroll in January. So, what makes a kid eligible to do this? First and foremost, you must have the academic credits to do so. This means you’re still a senior by age but have enough credits to forego your second semester of high school. You also must meet the GPA requirement and SAT/ACT requirements for that college. Now what do I mean by “willing?” Well, by foregoing the second half of your senior year, you are missing out on finishing out high school along with your peers. You could miss prom, you could miss graduation day, and miss out on those last precious moments of living with your parents/guardians. That’s a lot to give up, so it’s not shocking for a kid to be eligible, but opt not go. Another important piece that isn’t a requirement is coach recruiting. Coach’s may or may not put a lot of pressure on the recruit to come in early based on what the current roster looks like. Does the team NEED your presence? Then they will pressure you to come early. Are you a development kid? They will probably strongly encourage you to stay in high school as the team doesn’t immediately need that kid to contribute – think red shirts.
But why are coach’s putting pressure on kids to enroll early? Well, this day, in my opinion, is the most important day in recruiting, because it has the most probability to directly effect the following year’s roster. When an athlete early enrolls, they are forgoing their final semester of high school, enrolling in college, and can participate in football activities immediately. This is very important for Freshman because now they can go through winter workouts, get acclimated to the academic life, and, most importantly, participate in Spring practice. By the time the summer enrollment comes around, the early enrollees have already gone through (as mentioned earlier) academic acclimation, winter workouts, spring practice, the spring game, and summer session 1 (usually May – June) – that’s 7 months of football and exposure to the playbook before the normal enrollees join the team. If you want to see what your roster will look like and what recruits will make an impact, tune in on December 21 – 23 (transfers get until January 15).
The next couple of articles that are going to be released are going to dive into who I think will enroll early and compete for the starting job. My last series of articles we did QB’s last and don’t worry, I’ll throw them in first this go-around.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe learned a thing or two – Me, well I learned how many times I typed “singing” instead of “signing” and how many attempts I needed to properly spell “presence” (took me twice this time).