The NCAA recently passed the long awaited “Early Signing Period” for college football.
Starting this winter, high school football prospects can now sign their NLI in a three day window from December 20-22. Previously, signing day was always the first Wednesday in February.
Here are some thoughts on this change as it pertains to UND and college football as a whole:
- This is viewed as a positive overall by the UND Football staff from what we have been told. There will be no more “re-recruiting” you own commits for the entire month of January.
- No more fighting off late offers from schools that perennially come in late on upper midwest prospects due to a number of reasons (usually not flattering). One school in Iowa is pretty consistent when it comes to that.
- Official visits will need to happen during the summer or on home game weekends during the fall, which is not ideal. It takes a pretty large staff to be able to entertain a family for two days while there is also a game going on.
- There would be two weekends in December where a school could host traditional recruiting weekends. However, if they are in the playoffs, like UND was last year, those would not be an option.
- This early signing period will become the main signing period soon enough, IMO. We believe most schools will be trying to fill the vast majority of their class in this December period. The second signing period in February will be to round it out if they have any spots still available after fall semester is over. There is usually some attrition after that first semester of the school year.
- Getting kids to come to your camp & getting your staff out and about working FBS camps is imperative. Pushing for commitments shortly after these camps are over is going to be the norm.
- The UND staff will be working the Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska and Wyoming camps this summer. Why those you ask? To see in-person prospects from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Denver area.
- Look for schools to make coaching changes immediately after their season is over in mid-November. I mean like right after their last game is over. That way they can get their new staff in place by early December and still try and hold onto their current commits and gain a few new one’s by the December 20-22 signing window. UND would have been in big trouble when they hired Bubba Schweigert three years ago. He wasn’t named UND’s coach until December 24th.
Two former UND staffers have moved on to their first full-time coaching jobs. Former Red River standout Sam King has been named the running backs coach at Minnesota-Duluth. King was a vital part of many facets of the UND Football program, most recently coaching the running backs this spring after Kevin Maurice left for Eastern Washington.
Helping King with the running backs this spring was Markell Pete. Like King, Markell was a young guy who did whatever the program needed. He was recently named the tight ends coach at Pomona Pitzer College in California. Pete is originally from that Los Angeles area.
Look for UND to name their new running backs coach sometime in the next two weeks. The hope is to get one named by June 1st. Based on history and familiarity we are thinking it will be someone with ties to Coach Schweigert and his Southern Illinois days.