While Georgia head coach Mark Richt appears to be cautious about the possibility of an early signing period in college football, Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson wonders why we do not already have one in place.
“I don’t know why they (the NCAA) don’t do it (an early signing period), honestly,” Johnson said to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “You’ll have guys from smaller schools, and then some guys from bigger schools both say in favor of an (early signing period) to speed up the process or kids don’t have enough and the whole nine yards. My answer is that, if you don’t have enough time (as a recruit), don’t sign early. Take your time. Make sure you’ve got what you want. If you’re good enough, the colleges will wait on you.”
The College Commissioners Association will meet in June with the concept of an early signing period in football to be discussed on the agenda. There are a number of details to be ironed out before presenting the idea to the rest of the college football world, but there are clearly some mixed opinions on the topic. An early signing period has its pros and cons, and whether or not college football needs it could be the biggest question to answer. Johnson feels confident it could just be a matter of time before it becomes a reality, and he is ready to stump for it.
“You’re going to see an early signing period here at some time,” Johnson said. “There needs to be an early signing period, just from a financial standpoint and from everything else. So that the kids who know where they want to go can get it done, and get it over with and save a bunch of money and a bunch of time.”
The number of student athletes who would take advantage of an early signing period may be minimal, but Johnson suggests there would be enough interest from recruits to take advantage of an early signing period that it could prove to be beneficial for football programs and coaches as well. Johnson says it actually is more beneficial to the recruit and there would be ways a recruit could have an early commitment voided if a coach were to leave a program. It sounds so simple when you hear Johnson lay it out, but it is not without critics. As we saw yesterday, Richt suggested an early signing period could be a pain for coaches who could have to divide their attention from game planning to make important recruiting pitches.
The political battle over the 10-second rule is going to continue to wage on. This early signing period could be another debate ready to divide the college football world.