WSU Recruiting: Weighing early signing period

MIKE LEACH HAD previously never been in favor of an early signing period. But when asked about it back on February’s LOI Day, after Washington State had seen other schools at the eleventh hour come to raid their verbal commitments, he sounded more open to the concept. We asked his football chief of staff, Dave Emerick, for his thoughts on an early signing period.

Emerick didn’t discount the idea.

“I think there are some benefits to it,” Emerick told “In this day and age with social media and all the rest, kids like attention, they like to be loved. They see their buddies go on trips and that makes them want to go on more trips -- even if they’re committed. So an early signing period would alleviate some of that -- if a kid came to Washington State or loved Washington State and knew he wanted to come here, there would be no point in him visiting other schools and we could sign him during that early signing period.”

If an early signing period were implemented, it's generally thought (after the first year or two) that it would work similar to basketball where the bulk of the prospects choose to sign during the early period.

“Now, if he’s not 100 percent certain and still wants to look around, then he shouldn’t sign,” said Emerick. “But getting some of those kids on board to alleviate them looking at other places out of boredom on their part or that their buddies are visiting other places, it would alleviate that.”

The problem with installing an early signing period in football has always been that no one can agree how to implement the various facets of it.

When exactly would it take place? How will that impact coaches’ preparation time during the season? How will it impact a prospect's ability to take official visits? What if a coach or staff is let go after a student-athlete has signed? What about the in-home visit where the head coach gets to sit down face-to-face (sometimes for the first time) with a recruit?

The list goes on.

One thing is for certain for a school like Washington State: an early signing period would, at least to some degree, decrease the late January chaos.

Where do you stand on an earlier signing period? And if in favor of it, how would you implement all its facets? Click the link immediately below to weigh in.

Cougfan Top Stories