Alabama coach Nick Saban has been clear about his disdain for the early signing period, and count one of his former quarterbacks among those who oppose it.
Speaking on ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM on Monday, Greg McElroy gave his take on the early signing period, which will run from Wednesday to Friday of this week.
The SEC Network analyst criticized it for creating a tough scenario where coaches will likely force players to make tough decisions that will inevitably get even more difficult as National Signing Day approaches.
"I think there's going to be a lot of pressure put on these players, even if they are a little unsure." – @GregMcElroy on the impact the early signing period will have on high school players pic.twitter.com/ODOWxCScxo
— ESPNU Radio on SiriusXM (@ESPNUonSiriusXM) December 18, 2017
“I think it’s real easy for people to say, ‘Well, just don’t commit. Be a man of your word.’ It’s not that easy, man,” McElroy said. “I feel like I’m a man of integrity, and I de-committed. Doesn’t make me a horrible person.”
McElroy explained that players’ loyalties shouldn’t be compromised after they’ve done their homework in all aspects and taken their visits to determine the best school for them.
“If I had only one scholarship offer on Dec. 20, I would be forced to pull the trigger, but more scholarships might come in the next four weeks as guys start to kind of fall out and go elsewhere. I think it does take away a lot from the student-athlete, and I think it also waters down the high school senior year, too.”
McElroy also predicted that the early signing period would make National Signing Day “obsolete” by removing a lot of the doubt and anticipation as to where players will pledge, which doesn’t do the media any favors and shortens college football’s time in the spotlight.
“The first Wednesday of February is going to be 10 percent of the guys signing and the guys that are either 5-stars or whatever in some cases and want to play the hat dance or it’s going to be guys that are completely under the radar and luck into their scholarship late.
“I think 80 percent will sign in December because coaches will force their hand. I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure applied to these players, even if they are a little unsure.”