For many, National Signing Day 2018 was a culmination of a lot of time and effort in the recruiting process and the beginning of the next chapter for many student athletes. This year, with the addition of the early signing period in December, National Signing Day seemed to take on a little different flavor, of which I would love to address.
You see, many in the media, and fans alike seemed to miss a few things this year. One, many were surprised with the early December recruiting period happened. Many didn’t even realize that in some cases kids signed National Letters of Intent before their H.S. Football Season was even over! Continuing on the topic of the early signing period, we saw all the raw data coming out of that date showing that nearly all of the signees during the early period went to Division I schools and even more a higher percentage went to P5 programs. No surprise at all. Overall I think its a good thing to have a early signing period, and I do think they will continue to tweak with it and the overall calendar but the benefits outweigh the cons for sure.
Now that brings us to the February signing period and how that manifest itself in how it was applied by coaches, fans and media and let me try to address my observations on all three accounts. Coaches saw the time between December and the first of February as a time to fine tune the High Major recruits they wanted while getting a head start on Junior recruiting. Lower Major programs and Division 2, FCS and otherwise saw this time as really there’s for the first time, which is a way was nice to see. For media and fans however, we saw lots of people putting down the February signing period saying it didn’t matter, which we think is a bit of a shame. There are lots of reasons why kids didn’t sign early to a major college, and likewise a lot of great players that also signed at non-Division I programs. The data shows that less than 5% of the country will play college football and we think ever kid that gets a shot to play in college is doing something special!
What we will see now is clearly a Division I signing date and a Division 2 (for lack of a better term) signing date. Certainly different, with different fanfare, but neither is better or worse. Heck, there are even a few gems out there that haven’t even signed to this date. So enjoy your double signing dates everyone. There both important…especially for the kids!