What/when is the early signing period?
For the first time, all college football recruits will be have the opportunity to sign their letters of intent in December rather than February.
In the past, the December signing period has designated for early enrollees and junior college prospects. That will still be the case, but under the new rules, any committed prospect has the choice to sign during the early signing period.
It’s a 72-hour period that starts Dec. 20 and ends Dec. 22.
This isn’t necessarily a replacement for the first Wednesday in February. Rather, it’s a way for recruits to shut down their recruitments earlier if that’s what they want. It also allows coaching staffs to utilize time and resources more strategically in January with fewer recruits left on the market.
Since this is Year 1 of the early signing period, all parties — coaches, recruits and even media — are trying to figure out what the short-term and long-term effects of this signing period will be.
Also worth noting: This doesn’t alter the midyear junior college signing period. Junior college prospect who enroll in January can sign anytime between Dec. 20 and Jan. 15.
Which Auburn commits are signing during the early signing period?
Auburn wanted as many prospects to sign in the early signing period as possible, and the Tigers are going to get their wish.
SEC Country went into more detail about who plans to utilize the new early signing period last week. Some of that has been amended over the last week with 4-star offensive lineman Jalil Irvin changing his mind. Irvin will now use the early signing period.
Sixteen of Auburn’s 19 commitments plan to sign from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22. The only three prospects who don’t plan to sign early are 4-star wide receiver Matthew Hill, 4-star defensive tackle Coynis Miller and Australian punter Arryn Siposs.
The other 16 prospects will all sign, including the eight non-early enrollees — Irvin, Richard Jibunor, Michael Harris, Kolbi Fuqua, Zakoby McClain, Kam Stutts, Seth Williams and Shaun Shivers.
Which Auburn targets are announcing during the early signing period?
Don’t expect many early signing period announcements for Auburn this year, at least.
That’s not to say there aren’t a few names to keep an eye on, or someone could pop up in the next five days, but the Tigers have done most of their damage already in the early portion of the 2018 recruiting cycle. If anyone does announce between now and Friday, the most likely candidates are a pair of offensive linemen.
Jalen Goss took his official visit over the weekend. All reports indicated he was blown away by his experience. Michigan is the only other major program in contention for the athletic offensive tackle from Valdosta, Ga. His decision won’t necessarily come during the early signing period, but it’s certainly possible Goss joins the class sometime this week.
Jerome Carvin, an offensive lineman from Memphis, Tenn., officially visited Auburn for the Iron Bowl. It made an impression on him. Carvin is also considering Mississippi State, Tennessee, Florida and Memphis, and he’s set to announce his commitment Dec. 20 at his school’s signing ceremony. Auburn is in a solid position for Carvin, but this one will go down to the wire.
Those are the two most likely commitment announcements in the next few days after Kayode Oladele committed Sunday.
Which Auburn commits aren’t signing during the early signing period?
As detailed above, there are only three prospects signed who have said outright they don’t plan to sign in December — Miller, Hill and Siposs.
The general reasoning for the first two? They just always planned on signing in February, and there isn’t a reason to change that. Auburn is OK with it and both prospects have stayed true to their commitments.
Don’t be surprised to see either take visits in January but also don’t fret.
Miller has said he will likely go to Alabama and Tennessee in January, but he’s doubled down on his Auburn commitment multiple times. Hill has stayed in touch with Clemson as a safety option. He’s taken a couple visits and potentially will in January as well, but Auburn sits in fine shape with the prospect who grew up an Auburn fan.
In Siposs’ case, it has to do with paperwork. He’ll arrive at Auburn from Melbourne, Australia, so there are a few academic and legal hurdles to clear before Siposs can sign. That will be able to happen by February, just not as soon as Dec. 22.
Kayode Oladele said following his commitment that he will figure out Monday or Tuesday whether he will sign early.
Which Auburn commitments are enrolling early?
Auburn will have eight commits enrolled by January and able to participate in spring workouts and practices. In fact, six of those prospects will be in Auburn throughout bowl season to participate in Peach Bowl practices.
The eight early enrollees are below with an asterisk next to their name if they’ll be at bowl practices.
- Quindarious Monday*
- Asa Martin*
- Jamien Sherwood
- Christian Tutt*
- Josh Marsh*
- Shedrick Jackson*
- Joey Gatewood
- Daquan Newkirk*
Many of those prospects — Tutt, Martin, Newkirk, Monday, Marsh and Jackson — have already moved into their dorm rooms.