As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
The NCAA Division I Council approved legislation Friday for an early signing period in December for high school recruits.
FBS commissioners have shelved the proposal for years, but finally acted on it this week. Florida coach Jim McElwain has long been in support of an early signing period.
He spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2015 about the possibility.
In the story, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and former South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier spoke out against it. More than a half dozen coaches, including McElwain, liked the idea.
“I think there’s a lot of merit to it,” McElwain said. “At times, the things that happen to you with a lot of kids, they want to go to a place, so let’s get it over with [and sign early]. I think it will really help in the long run. … I think it’s one of those things that is needed, but I’m not sure any of us know [what] the ramifications will be once it goes down.
“When are you going to be able to get some guys on campus? Obviously, you’re going to have to hustle during the season for your visits. That will be interesting. You know, I’m not sure about the exact best way to do it. I think maybe going into a kid’s senior year [he could sign], if he’s prepared to do that.”
The council voted for an additional period of official visits between April 1 of a prospect’s junior year and the last Wednesday in June of that year. The new legislation also allows FBS schools to hire a 10th assistant coach (effective Jan. 9, 2018).
McElwain previously lobbied for that as well.
“You think about it — your roster, we’ll travel 100 people, players,” McElwain said. “And there’s some sports that have one guy for every two people or maybe one of them. But here’s the one really good thing here. Obviously, [athletics director] Scott [Stricklin] is allowing us as well, some of the off-field roles to be able to keep enhancing those to help you in that piece.”
Clement ready to sign
Florida’s latest commit, Iverson Clement, is on board with the new signing period.
The 4-star running back from New Jersey tweeted Friday that he plans to sign with the Gators in December.
I'll be sighing in December ?? https://t.co/AKvvkdlqTp
— Iverson Clement?? (@Swaggy__ai) April 14, 2017
Clement plans to attend a summer camp session at UF in June and officially visit the school during the 2017 season.
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