While many were celebrating Easter weekend, college football made some dramatic changes to its recruiting rules that will change how the process works.
Here is a breakdown of how the new rules impact recruiting:
• A new signing period has been formally proposed for December, presumably to coincide with the annual junior college signing period, a 72-hour window starting on the third Wednesday in December. The proposed effective date would be Aug. 1, thus putting the new early signing period in place for the upcoming 2018 class.
It is not officially etched in stone, yet. The NCAA noted that, “Only the Collegiate Commissioners Association can create new National Letter of Intent periods.”
The new signing period could cut both ways for NC State. It did lose a linebacker commit last year in January when Nick Smith from Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips High switched his pledge to Florida, but for the most part under fifth-year head coach Dave Doeren the Wolfpack has done well holding onto its pledges. Getting prospects signed in December though could relieve some of the potential heartaches (and money) of needing to continue to recruit commitments for another month.
On the other hand, an early signing period would potentially cut down on the pool of available prospects in January when schools like NC State are looking to fill out their classes.
• With an early signing period comes earlier official visits. Juniors can now take official visits between April 1 and the last Sunday before the final Wednesday in June. This, however, will not be in place until the 2019 class. The official visits also cannot occur in conjunction with a school’s camp.
• In an effort to reduce oversigning, schools will be limited to signing 25 players, effective with the 2017 class. This could impact NC State as it is expected to sign a full class. In the past, schools could get around the rules by enrolling players early or greyshirting, which is delaying enrollment until the spring of the following year.
• In a rule that is sure to draw the ire of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, camps are now restricted to college campuses and limited to 10 days in June and July. This is an effort to put checks on the growing trend of satellite camps at prominent high schools made popular by Harbaugh. This rule goes into effect immediately.
Each camp is also now required to have an educational session “detailing initial eligibility standards, gambling rules, agent rules and drug regulations.”
• Starting after this upcoming season, a 10th assistant coach will be added to the staff. Hires can be made starting on Jan. 9, 2018.
• Related to staff hiring, college football will be adopting a rule similar to that of college basketball. An “individual associated with a prospect” (i.e. parent, high school coach, etc.) cannot be hired in a support position two years before or after a prospect signed with a school .
In layman’s terms, if NC State were to hire Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland High head coach Richard Bailey for an offensive quality control position this summer, the Pack could not sign his five-star rising senior running back Zamir White and White’s backup, junior Syheam McQueen, who also has an offer from the Pack. Subsequently, if NCSU were to sign McQueen in 2019, Bailey could not take a support position job at NC State until 2021 at the earliest.
However, NC State could hire Bailey as a position coach and still sign or recruit some of his former players. This only applies to support position jobs that are more prominent at high-profile football programs like Alabama.
• The number of two-a-days during preseason camp had already diminished over time, but now they will be no more going forward. Preseason camp will, however, retain 29 practices before the first game.
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