Recruits Talk About Early Signing Period

Certain coaches are completely for the idea of a National Signing Day in the summer. Others completely oppose the idea. Coaches, however, don't have the majority in this vote. What do the players who go through the recruiting process think about an early signing period?

Recent debates about possibly switching National Signing Day from the first Wednesday in February, to maybe earlier in the year has interested college coaches enough to speak out about the topic.

There was a little talk about a possible change after irritated fans and coaches saw players switching verbal commitments from one school to another days before the most exhilarating day in the world of high school football recruiting.

One coach, Joe Paterno of Penn State, stated in an article earlier this month he is against the idea of changing the current February date.

"I don't like it," Paterno was quoted saying. He went on to talk about how in his opinion, certain times of the recruiting season should be changed, but not National Signing Day.

One of Penn State's current verbal commitments, offensive tackle Eric Shrive from Scranton, PA, wouldn't be too bothered if changes occur.

"It doesn't really matter whether I sign now or in February," Shrive stated. "I think it would help out the colleges to have an early signing period so they can focus more on the kids after the ones who are already committed."

Shrive went on to say an early signing period wouldn't change the ways schools recruited.

"Recruiting is such an early process now. Kids are getting recruited when they're freshmen and sophomores in high school, so they're going to camps or being showcased, and that's mainly because of the recruiting services."

Another player who verbally committed early, quarterback Matt Barkley from Mater Dei High School in California, thought that a later signing period would help recruits who didn't have standout junior seasons, but did well in summer camps and had a breakout senior season.

"It [early signing day] could get things done quickly, but I think the later date after your senior season – it can give kids a chance to prove themselves in their senior season," stated Barkley.

"Like a bunch of kids I know, who hadn't had scholarships after their junior year, but after their junior year they got scholarships, so I think it's an advantage to being after your senior year. That's what I would prefer."

Barkley however, decided to choose his school early on in the process, and like Shrive, chose an instate school: Southern Cal.

"I just knew Southern Cal was the school I wanted to go to, and why wait? I'm talking to other recruits and trying to get them to come to Southern Cal, so I figured it's the best school for me, and I needed to help them out."

An effect Barkley thought this would have on schools recruiting methods would make them decide on recruits even earlier then colleges currently do.

"Now schools are going to try and get the best players as quickly as they can. Southern Cal already does a pretty good job at that. I think now we have thirteen commitments in the '09 class, but when the best schools out there see them they're going to snag them."

It's easy hearing Shrive and Barkley speak, that whether or not recruits chose schools in similar fashion, with Barkley and Shrive both committing early and to an instate school, they still have completely different opinions.

Jordan Love, a corner and running back from Glenn Allen, Virginia has not decided on a school yet, but says he will choose his school sooner rather than later. Love went on to add that an early signing day would be preferable, and Love also chose a summer month in which he thought National Signing Day should be.

"I think it should be in August," Love said.

"I think there should be an early signing day, just because I think it would take a lot of stress off the players, and they'll know where they're going. So all they'll have to worry about is their senior year."

Love also thought an early signing day would be beneficial to coaches as well.

"I think they [coaches] would like it because they can't keep in contact as much during the football season," said the four-star prospect. "We're playing our season and they're playing their season, so it's like you're not in as much contact with them, so if there was an early signing day they wouldn't have to worry about recruiting this guy, or calling this guy, and them going to another school."

He also made mention that the colleges would be able to recruit players earlier, and that could help them move onto the next crop of recruits too.

"I think it would be good not just for the players, but for the schools as well. The colleges can get an early jump on the guys they're trying to get for the next year, so it'll also help the colleges as well."

The final recruit spoken to, Ryan Mossakowski, a quarterback out of Texas, stated he thought there should be an early signing day but that he would take advantage of the current signing day's place and decide later than Shrive, Barkley, and Love.

"I'm going to decide during the season, or maybe a little after," said the quarterback. Just because I want to go through all my schools, and I'm going to narrow it down to five.

"Hopefully I'll take my five official visits, and then narrow it down from there. Hopefully then I can just get that certain feeling of the school that I want to go to."

As far as an early signing day goes, Mossakowski thought it would be smart for one of the same reasons Love said, in terms of taking pressure off of players during their final high school season.

"I think an early signing period would take some pressure of the players, just so they can relax their senior season and just play."

Mossakowski also said an early signing day wouldn't change recruiting too much.

"Personally, I don't think it would make that big of a difference. It would mean kids would have verbally committed already, and it would make a slight impact towards the fact the players don't have that much to worry about anymore.

"After you sign, you just have to get through school and it becomes official, so I don't think it would be a big impact, but I do think it would be a nice impact."

He went on to talk about whom this idea would affect the most.

"This would affect the coaches probably more than anything. They'd have to speed up the tempo on recruiting, and start a little earlier, so it would affect them more than it would allude to the rest of the athletes."

Would an early signing period help recruiting? There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. But if there is a change made, the coaches should not be the only ones deciding on this. The coaches hand out offers every year, whereas the recruits go through the stressful process once in their life, making a huge decision. The players should have a say too. Top Stories