That’s because a 12-person committee that met last week during the NCAA Convention has recommended an early signing date that would begin on Dec. 16 and last for 72 hours.
The recommendation – which would be used at first on a two-year experimental basis – will now go before the Collegiate Commissioners Association, which oversees the national letter-of-intent program.
The CCA is a 32-member group comprised of the commissioners of Division I conferences and will vote on the measure at their June conference in Ashville, N.C.
“Mid-December has been the focus for a while for some," Greg Sankey, SEC executive associate commissioner told CBSSports.com's Jon Solomon last week. "We've, over time, observed concerns about that date. Those are still meaningful concerns.
“Our coaches -- five to six years ago -- did a really good job of creating thinking of what might be an alternative to the mid-December date,” Sankey added. “That's why we wanted the one day after Thanksgiving as a reasonable approach. We'll wait to see the outcomes and continue to provide feedback."
Some coaches, including ones in the SEC, had recommended an Aug. 1 date, but it is not feasible at this time per MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher.
“You can't do it [earlier] without changing recruiting rules,” Steinbrecher told CBS Sportsline’s Dennis Dodd. “ Plus, you're not sure whether there's going to be a coaching change. You're looking at six terms of [high school] academic work with an Aug. 1 signing date."
The new date would help alleviate pressure on players committed to a school that are pressure to take other visits in January.
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10:45 a.m. update:
Arkansas has offered a scholarship to current Auburn cornerback Chris Westry (6-4, 185) of Orange Park, Fla., Oakleaf.
Razorback defensive coordinator Robb Smith and graduate assistant Aaron Henry – currently recruiting until new coaches are hired – are slated to visit Westry today.
Kentucky – where Westry visited last weekend -is also planning to visit him today as there are rumblings that his commitment to Auburn is in doubt.
Westry says that he will visit either Arkansas or Florida this weekend.
• • •
11 a.m. update:
Arkansas commit Dre Greenlaw (6-1, 220) has been selected to play in the International Bowl on Jam. 7 at Maverick Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas-Arlington.
He will play for the U.S. Under National team that will battle Canada at 1 p.m. in a game that can be seen on ESPN3.
Greenlaw had 130 tackles this season with 4 interceptions, 12 pass break ups, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
He started playing more offense at the end of the season and had 8 touchdowns on 32 catches.
Fayetteville head coach Daryl Patton will be coaching in the game.
Almost Here! Everybody better Watch! pic.twitter.com/jqz5XiCFzp— Dre Greenlaw (@DreGreenlaw) January 20, 2015
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11:15 a.m. update:
Arkansas has moved the official visit of Dallas Skyline safety Kylan Johnson back from this upcoming weekend to Jan. 30-Feb. 1.
“Arkansas bumped him back, (he) is looking for a visit for a visit for this weekend now,” noted Skyline assistant coach Ernie Mimms.
Moved to quarterback before the season started, Johnson had 36 touchdowns and 0 interceptions this season.
His team’s season started 14-0, but ended with a 52-34 loss to Allen in state playoffs.
His individual season ended earlier in the game when he broke his thumb with Skyline leading 28-10 with 8:09 in the third quarter.
“Very frustrating,” Johnson said to reporters afterwards. “If I would have finished out this game, it would have been different.”
• • •
Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema pulled into work this morning and tweeted this out.
5:30 p.m update:
The hiring of linebacker coach Vernon Hargreaves at Arkansas appears to be a hit with the the Razorback linebacker recruits.
Arkansas pledge Derrick Graham, who will get visit from Hargreaves on Wednesday, tweeted about it right after the announcement:
Look forward 2speaking and getting 2know coach Hargreaves! Good pick coach B. It was a wish tht Coach Walker from Umass had a shot. WPS— Derrick Graham (@Mrperfection352) January 20, 2015
• • •
Miami, Fla., Booker T. Washington linebacker James King (6-2, 205) also had praise for the hire.
"I like it," King said. "Just hope that he do what he did at Miami and and send 7 or 8 linebackers to the draft again and teach me some things that he knows."