Nobody enjoys trudging through snow up to their knees in the middle of January. That’s why it always has helped the SEC to have one signing day in February.
Now two early signing periods could make the difference and help the North when it comes to official visits as Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel explained in a recent column:
The way the current recruiting cycle works, the majority of official campus visits occur in December, January and early February of a player’s senior year. Syracuse coach Dino Babers, for instance, estimates three-quarters of his program’s official visits come in January.
That time of year in Central New York, or just about anywhere above the Mason-Dixon line, can be, well, tough … tough to get to, tough to walk around in, tough to get a kid to see the full scope of campus and the surrounding community. (The average high in Syracuse in January is 32 degrees. In Minneapolis, it’s 24. Snow and ice so regularly drop from the sky, it can wear out even the most hardened local.)
If suddenly a portion of those visits, perhaps even a majority, shift to May and June, as the proposal would allow? Now it’s an average of 78 in Syracuse and 79 in Minneapolis.
78 in Syracuse sounds a lot better than 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity in the South in May or June. The best recruits still probably will hold out, but as Wetzel explains, the weather matters for second-tier programs.
As such, the June visitation period will become increasingly important, and for every perfect day of weather in the North there can be a corresponding hot, humid and uncomfortable one in the South. (Average high for Baton Rouge in June: 91). Resorts in Wisconsin and Michigan and New York have catered to Southerners seeking good summer weather for generations. Suddenly it’s a kid in Texas that might want a weekend away.
The best programs still figure to get the best players at the end of the day, but Wetzel shows a massive recruiting shift in the calendar of when recruits visit and decide still matters. Since it’s still a proposal, the talks are still in the preliminary phases, but anything that hurts or helps recruiting in certain parts of the country is sure to raise a ruckus.