If the folks pushing for an early signing day need help getting people to rally around their cause, they might want to holler at South Carolina.
Gamecocks fans are fighting off a brutal hangover after losing 4-star safety Hamsah Nasirildeen, who flipped his commitment to Florida State on Sunday night, just over a week before signing day.
However, an opportunity to sign Nasirildeen in December probably wouldn’t have sealed and delivered the 6-foot-3, 210-pound safety from Concord, N.C.
Nasirildeen made his intentions clear in the fall when he visited Florida State for their annual ACC Atlantic showdown with Clemson. Plus, when Shrine Bowl practice rolled around in December, he was still engaging in heavy talks with the Seminoles, led by running backs coach Jay Graham.
Last week, the NCAA Division I Council and Football Oversight Committee presented a proposal that included two more signing periods, one in June and another in December. Officials eliminated June, but the possibility of adding one in December is still very much in play.
The proposal, which includes other significant changes to the NCAA’s recruiting rulebook, will be voted on in April by NCAA conference commissioners. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is believed to be among the minority of commissioners who oppose some of the proposed changes, including an early signing period.
“College football programs wouldn’t want the NFL draft November 15,” Sankey said, according to a story from ESPN’s Jeremy Crabtree.
“They just wouldn’t. It would be a huge distraction. So now we’re about to put a signing date in the middle of December when in some states high school football playoffs are taking place. That’s not providing the right level of attention to high school football programs, which provide a basis for college football. We’ve talked about colleges’ needs, but not about the impact on high school football, and I think that has to be a part of the early signing consideration.”
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told reporters in May that he was fine with the state of the NCAA recruiting calendar.
“The recruiting calendar is really good right now for coaches. It’s really good right now for prospective student-athletes,” he said. “I think it’s very fair for everybody. I would not be for changing much of what we do. There’s some (talk) about trying to get a December signing date.
“Not everyone is going to agree on that, and so at the end of the day, I think keeping things status quo is probably pretty good for us.”
Eight months later, it would be interesting to know if Muschamp has changed his tune. Perhaps we’ll find out when Muschamp introduces his 2017 signees to the public on Feb. 1.
From this perspective, the pros of an early signing period outweigh the cons.
Allowing recruits to sign a national letter of intent in December would help draw a line in the sand for both sides.
Commitments will know exactly where things stand if they’re not offered a chance to sign in December.
Same goes with the schools.
Is a recruit really committed if he doesn’t want to make his non-binding, verbal commitment official?