Many coaches and scouts bemoaned the narrowing of April live periods from two to one this year. Based on the 2015 calendar, however, there will once again be two open weekends next spring: April 10-12 and April 24-26.
How much of a difference do you think this will make in the recruiting world, and to what extent do you think it hampered evaluations this past spring?
Evan Daniels: I think adding the weekend back in April is a big deal. College coaches need that weekend to further evaluate players that they could potentially offer, plus gather new, young names that they'll be paying close attention to in the future.
If a coach sees a player for the first time in the spring and only has one weekend or a game or two to see them, it's tough to have a great feel for the player's game. It makes coaches have to pull the trigger from an offer standpoint earlier than they may want to. That's why multiple weekends and evaluation settings are important.
Brian Snow: First of all, coaches shouldn't have bemoaned anything since they are the ones who voted and decided to take away a second open period of the spring to only have one. That said, I don't think it will be a huge difference, but the second open period will allow coaches to take a slightly more measured approach and also see more kids in the process, which is of course as good thing.
At the end of the day I don't think a lot will be changed, and coaches didn't throw out too many reckless offers after one viewing in the spring this year, so I don't feel it was a major hindrance, but two open periods is definitely better for all involved.
Josh Gershon: Considering the fact that coaches are doing a lot of recruiting but very little, if any, evaluating during May and June, I think the more time they can spend on the road watching prospects in April the better. Entering those months, it's important they have a pretty good idea of their target list, and it's impossible to get a great feel for a class in just one weekend.
Coaches are obviously allowed out during the season, but most are much more focused on their current team than the one that's years in the future. How much of an impact not having another weekend this past spring won't really be known for 3-4 years, but every opportunity to evaluate is important, so I'm sure not having a second weekend this year hurt a lot of coaching staffs.
Rob Harrington: I believe there already are too few evaluation periods, so clearly I disfavored the one-weekend reality we faced this year. That said, the NCAA actually attempted to work with college coaches and institute one in May, but many college coaches will tell you off the record they don't want to be on the road that month because it's a relatively slow time for them.
Ultimately, though, everyone's job becomes tougher with fewer and fewer opportunities to evaluate. And for the players, a twisted ankle or simply a bad weekend and ruin their opportunity to earn scholarship offers. Or guys get over-recruited when they might be happier at a lower level than the offers they erroneously receive.
Bottom line for me, then, is that I'm excited there's another live weekend on tap for 2015. Beyond recruitment implications, players tend to compete harder when coaches are sitting in the stands — always a good thing.
Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report