“Once again, take it out of the minds of a 50-year-old and put it in the minds of a 16- or 17-year-old. I don't want to speak for Gene Smith, but I speak for our coaching staff -- we feel very strongly about strong regulation and keeping the recruiting calendar as is.”
On Monday, the NCAA passed a new rule that has been discussed about for quite some time: an early signing period for recruits. If you’ve been following Urban Meyer’s comments on the possibility of it going through, you’ll know why Ohio State’s head coach is so against it. Of course, the new ruling doesn’t just impact the Buckeyes, it will affect all of college football and future recruits. Essentially the rule states that there is now an early signing period similar to what we normally are used to during the month of February with all of the National Signing Day hype going on each season as commits send in their letters of intent to the school they had verbally committed to.
The new rule will allow a three-day period in December of each year to act as another signing day, locking in recruits that have verbally committed to put it in writing and officially become a part of that school’s signing class when it’s all said and done. The problem that coach Meyer has is that this occurs during recruits juniors seasons and for those prospects that the staff has been scouting but aren’t ready to send an offer yet, it takes away the chances of being able to land a commitment from a late bloomer who has yet to play their senior season of high school football.
“So I don’t understand, whether it’s lazy, whether it’s… I don’t understand why there’s this big push. Now they want to have official visits in their junior year. There are some kids that don’t even have ACT scores. Their bodies are gaining 12 pounds. Why not move it back to their sophomore year? It’s bizarre. You’re going to see more transfers and more mistakes made in recruiting than ever if they keep pushing this thing up.”
With all that being said above, it’s fair to ask why the new early signing period is such a big deal. To make it easier to visualize, take Elijah Gardiner. The three-star wide receiver was originally committed to Missouri up until days before National Signing Day. He would eventually flip to Ohio State. But if the early signing period had been in effect, then Gardiner might have ended up with the Tigers because he likely would have agreed to signing early and might have ended up somewhere where he truly didn’t feel that he belonged. This also effects in-state recruits for the Buckeyes. Late-bloomers such as Brady Taylor, DaVon Hamilton, and Robert Landers didn’t flip until very late in the process and could have all ended up at different schools.
The new rule will most certainly change some of the recruiting landscape in college football, but Meyer makes an excellent point. It won’t be all that surprising if there’s a significant uptick in the amount of college transfers after this early signing period is put into place.
“[Post-spring power rankings] 4. Ohio State”
Post-spring top 25’s are popping up all over, and the latest poll comes from Sports Illustrated. Brian Hamilton has Ohio State pegged at fourth in the country, behind only Alabama, Florida State, and USC. Hamilton mentions in the post that the emergence of Parris Campbell as a replacement for Curtis Samuel at H-back shows signs of promise but one of the biggest factors is that the Buckeyes return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball. J.T. Barrett being back for a fourth season is also crucial, with Kevin Wilson appointed as the new offensive coordinator, the offense is expected to be running at high efficiency in 2017.
Ohio State has their backfield intact as well with the aforementioned Barrett and running back Mike Weber who returns off of a 1,000-yard freshman season. Other Big Ten teams to make the top 25 were Penn State (fifth), Michigan (12th), and Wisconsin (13th).