Brendan Maloney, USA Today

NCAA Approves Early Signing Period Beginning December 2017

An early signing period is coming to College Football, as Collegiate Commissioners Association approves a 72-hour signing window beginning December 2017.

High school students will now be able to sign and submit National Letters of Intent during a 72-hour window in December. The Collegiate Commissioners Association approved an early signing period Monday, which goes into effect beginning with the 2018 recruiting class. 

The official approval comes a few weeks after the NCAA voted and approved the proposed early signing period in mid-April. 

2018 prospects will be able to submit their NLI's between December 20 and December 22, 2017, which coincides with the current JUCO 72-hour early signing period. Recruits who do not take advantage of the early-signing window will stick with the current February signing period, and submit NLI's the first Wednesday in February on National Signing Day.

Scout's National Director of Recruiting, Brandon Huffman notes how the new rules will impact coaches and recruits moving forward.

Coaches: "For coaches that have early commitments from players, it gives them a much better chance of holding on to them, rather than seeing them poached in January and in the run-up to Signing Day.  Of course, the flip side to that is that coaches who are better closers and do a better job flipping players down the stretch, now have to hope those targets don't sign in December."

Players: "Certainty and stability.  No more January drops when a new position coach comes in or a new head coach comes in.  They can sign in December instead of being told in late January, when they're still a verbal, that they'll have to either greyshirt or look somewhere else." 



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