High school prospects are now able to sign their National Letter of Intent in December. The collegiate commissioners association approved the decision on Monday, which now coincides with the current 72-hour Junior College signing period.
"Some of the guys have already called in that are in this class and are excited about that, especially for those guys that are really looking at graduating early and being part of it. That’s kind of exciting," he said.
This decision does not eliminate February's signing day, but it does allow players to sign to a school, holding their spot at a program, while the university secures the prospect without the fear of a late flip. However, McElwain says that it does present with a few more questions for both the players and the coaches.
"I think one of the things it may do, it’s going to force people’s hands, both the schools that have 500 offers out there and also the kids who are maybe taken reservations waiting for something, you’re going to find out how committed they are on maybe some of those."
McElwain adds that with any legislation, the coaches and the players will be learning the new system and how to approach it for the next few years before it really starts to make a difference.
“I think maybe even the first two years – we’re going to get used to it here. It’s like any rule change. You’re going to see some of the pitfalls and see some of the good things with it. And yet, I think time will tell on that one," he explained. "I think right now with now that we don’t have the early visits, so the visitation piece is going to be the same. You may do a few more in-game to get those dates. But I think based on the date that they put in, you’ve still got a couple of those weekends, at least one in December, where you probably have a huge recruiting weekend trying to get those guys to get ready to sign on the 20th.”
However, there is no doubt that the Gators will utilize the opportunity to secure recruits, thus avoiding some February drama.
"We’re going to encourage it obviously. And yet, if somebody’s not ready, I get it. We’ll keep recruiting them. But that’ll probably give you some indication of where the guy really is.”