Story: SPRINT TO THE FINISH

Football Recruiting Nears End

With February 1 (National Signing Day) looming, college football coaches and high school senior players are in the final “Sprint to the Finish” of this year’s recruiting season. What can fans and players expect?

1. More than a few changes: With the pressure on players to make “early commitments”, many players feel that pressure and make verbal commitments even as early as the spring of their junior year. Nobody wants to get left out, so kids announce their plans early. Verbal commitments are non-binding and either party can change their mind. The players seem to do it all the time, but for a college to “drop” a player usually results in a public relations nightmare. Even if a player makes a verbal commitment, other schools will still try and talk him into opening up discussions and/or making additional recruiting visits. There have already been a stream of “decommitments” and “recommitments” and there will likely be more.

2. Some late runs: Every school has their recruiting board in their “war room”. You have seen similar models in the NFL during the televised coverage of draft day. When a school isn’t successful at recruiting players on their board, they have to look for additional players. If a school wants to recruit a QB and they can’t get any of their initial offers, they better look further. Nobody wants to go “void” at a certain spot, especially if it is a priority. So all of a sudden, you will see schools recruiting certain players that were nowhere on “their list” two months ago.
3. Real pressure on recruits: Time is running out, slots are filling up. If you are a player with an offer, you better be prepared to make a decision. The talk tract becomes, “Young man, we want you. If you want this scholarship, you need to tell us yes, because if you can’t, we will offer it to someone else”. A player who cannot make a decision may well be left out.
4. If you have a visit scheduled for the last weekend (Jan 28-29), you need to realize you may not make it. If the school that you are scheduled to visit, fills their scholarship slots, they will call you and cancel your visit. So if you are visiting, you need to have done your homework, visited with your parents, and already made a decision on whether to accept or not. If you turn the offer down, you better have a guaranteed backup plan.

Look for additional news on the “SPRINT TO THE FINISH” on INSIDE SW RECRUITING on FOX SPORTS NET-SW at 6:30 pm Tuesday nights with Coach Rodgers and Dana Larson.