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Sorry eighth graders, Maryland coach Randy Edsall wants to change the way recruits are offered scholarships

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday
Maryland plays Marshall in Military Bowl
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FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2013 file photo, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall fist bumps offensive linesman De'Onte Arnett as he jogs off the field during an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Baltimore. Maryland won't have to cross the state line for its first bowl appearance since 2010. The Terrapins will face Marshall in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27. The game will be held at the home stadium of the Naval Academy, which is around 28 miles from the Maryland campus. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Maryland coach Randy Edsall wants to change college football recruiting and it has nothing to do with an early signing period.

Quite the opposite, actually.

Edsall told the Washington Post that he’d like to prohibit coaches from offering recruits until Sept. 1 of the recruit’s senior season in high school. He also wants to transfer the power of scholarship offers from the football program to the admissions office.

“You’re trying to offer kids without knowing if they’ll graduate high school,” Edsall said. “People just throw out these offers and there’s not a lot of validity to it.”

This isn’t something Edsall just said off the cuff. He’s actually presented the idea to NCAA president Mark Emmert in a recent conversation. He said the new way of offering scholarships would put a greater emphasis on academics. Edsall said football programs would give their admissions offices a list of recruitable players and the admissions office would decide if the recruit is academically compatible with the school.

“Figure everything out academically first and then offer,” Edsall told the paper. “Not the other way around.

“The model to me is broken.”

Edsall’s plan likely stems from the current trend of offering players as early as middle school. Former USC coach Lane Kiffin kind of kickstarted the trend by offering eighth-grade quarterback David Sills back in 2010. Last month, LSU coach Les Miles offered a scholarship to 14-year-old quarterback Zadock Dinkelmann, who is the nephew of former BYU Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Ty Detmer.

“Those young players that are exceptional – when you come across them, you just know it,” Miles said in an interview with ajc.com. “We recognize the family, and we recognize a characteristic that they will do well academically and that they have a size and speed component that will only improve. We know they are doing well off the field. Those kind of guys, sometimes they can be young players. We’ve not shied away from them. When we can identify them, we’ve not shied away from offering them.”

While Edsall’s idea definitely has merit, he’s likely not going to get a lot of support for it. College coaches are already pushing to sign players earlier and waiting until a recruit’s senior season to just offer him would definitely go against the direction college football seems to be heading.

Not to mention that any recruiting strategy that relied on the admissions department to determine who should get an athletic scholarship would likely limited the type of player that could get into certain schools.

Still, we applaud Edsall for actually thinking of the student in student-athlete.

What are your thoughts on Edsall’s idea?

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Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter

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