Each year, the recruiting process seems to speed up. Players receive offers earlier in their high school careers and, in turn, commit sooner than did their predecessors.
While that's the trend, it's not the rule. For various reasons, plenty of prospects still use some or all of their five official visits allowed by NCAA rules.
Damon Mitchell plans to utilize his official visits. He's one of six children being raised by his single mom in New Jersey.
"There are a lot of schools that have offered me that I would love to get out to see," the Class of 2013 athlete said. "But my mom works a lot. It's hard to work around her schedule as well as mine. And the financial part of it to get to these campuses really is a burden."
Official visits are paid for by the host schools.
"I feel like that's what will work for me," the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Mitchell said. "You can't buy a car before you see it and this is a much more critical decision. This is life."
Mitchell reported that he picked up offers from Iowa and Syracuse last week. He already held opportunities from Boston College, Connecticut, Rutgers, Purdue, Central Florida, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among others.
"Distance from home isn't a factor," the Cedar Creek (Egg Harbor City, NJ) High product said. "My mom and I have talked about that. It's time in your life where you can't have your mom getting you up in the morning and washing your clothes. Not that it happens like that now, but it's a time to grow up.
"Family is only a phone call or video chat away."
Hawkeye Assistant Darrell Wilson his leading the way for his school's recruitment of Mitchell. He came through Cedar Creek last week.
"I don't know a lot about Iowa but I know it's a Big Ten school with a top-notch football program and education," Mitchell said. "I sent an email to Coach Wilson and am waiting to hear back. I look forward to getting to know him and the school."
Iowa offered Mitchell as a safety. He said schools see him being able to play all over the field from quarterback to defensive back. Purdue's offer is at running back.
"It really doesn't matter to me where I play," Mitchell said. "The important thing to me is how well the school does with players at the position they're recruiting me at. Do they put players from that position in the NFL? I also look at graduation rates and drop-out rates."
Mitchell is considering majors in engineering and communications.
Rutgers has hosted Mitchell, who they're recruiting as a quarterback, on three unofficial visits, the last of which came earlier this month. Scarlett Knights Assistant Rob Spence has scheduled a visit to Cedar Creek this week, Mitchell said.
"I like them a lot," Mitchell said. " Coach (Greg Schiano) brought them to prominence, but it seems like Coach (Kyle) Flood and the other coaches are going to keep it going."
Syracuse came in with its offer on the same day Iowa did.
"They're trying to get me up to New York for a camp," Mitchell said. "I think they want to get a look at me throwing and also as a DB."