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Will the Early Signing Period be great for everyone?

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Our Maryland Potluck, Day 3 explores the merits of Peruvian Chicken and wonders about the future of recruiting with the early signing period

Peruvian Chicken from D’Candelas in Chicago

Maryland fans have extolled the values of Peruvian Chicken in the comment sections and the fanshots since joining OTE in 2012/2013. Earlier this year I (LincolnParkWildcat) ventured to D’Candelas restaurant in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood with my girlfriend and was not disappointed!

The empanadas and chicken I shared with my girlfriend were amazing. I’ll definitely plan a return trip up there after I try out the newest Peruvian restaurant, Chopo Chicken in Lincoln Park.

One day perhaps, I’ll head out to the DC - Virginia - Maryland area to try out the Peruvian Chicken places so highly spoken of by our Terrapin conference-mates.

Speaking of Maryland, our friends over at Testudo Times told us the NCAA has enacted a 72 hour early signing period for college football recruiting.

Currently, a player could commit to a school early, but that honestly does not deter coaches from attempting to flip a recruit.

Case in point: Ted Glover pointed out five years ago what might (not) have happened when Jim Delany addressed Mark Dantonio and former Wisconsin HC Bret Bielema’s complaints about Urban Meyer’s recruit flipping in the classic satirical article: Bret Bielema Has Sand In His Pants, And Wants Jim Delany To Know About It.

Under the new system, there will be a 72 hour period on December 20th for a recruit to commit early and be done with it. Signed, sealed, and delivered.

Could a school with strict academic requirements like Northwestern or Stanford face difficulties in recruiting players that admissions might not approve until later on? SBNation writer Bud Elliott claims that Stanford coach David Shaw is not a fan of early signing.

FWIW, Bud Elliott really dives into the winners, losers, and a suggestion on one thing that could happen: allow kids that have committed to a coach that has departed in January to be free agents.

Do you guys think the changes for Early Recruiting are a good idea or a bad idea?

LPW: I think Northwestern will be fine, since from what I’ve observed they’ve tended to lock in recruits early. The only recruit I can think of (without exhaustive research) that was down to the wire was James Clark in 2013, who had NU in his top five and ended up taking his talents to Columbus.

If I were a college athlete, I’d like to get it done early so I can enjoy the rest of my senior year and not be constantly contacted by coaches up until regular signing day.

Also, it might make the lives of coaches easier. I don’t see a negative to any of this.

Candystripes: Let kids decide where they want to go when they want. How much you want to make them stick to it is up to you. Beyond that, I don’t really care much about recruiting.

MNW: I’m of two minds on this as it pertains to Northwestern, as I really don’t give a shit about recruiting in general.

On the one hand, there are the concerns LPW noted about students being able to gain admission to Northwestern on the basis of academics. That, I suppose, is something to be worried about, but then again, if they merely keep their recruitment open until the regular signing period, I’m sure it’ll be about the status quo for the ‘Cats.

On the other, Pat Fitzgerald has always preached that recruiting is a marriage of sorts, and I don’t think he would be too opposed (though I’ve been wrong before) to the chance for kids to make that commitment (a preferred word of his) earlier. It has often been to Fitz’s advantage to get verbals and lock down this class early—an early signing date would likely be in keeping with how he’s run the recruiting at Northwestern.

If I’m being frank, I think the real significance comes in how the non-bowl game teams approach this signing period. With the ability to commit all their coaches to recruiting, could teams like Purdue or rutger swoop in and poach players who might’ve been considering a Michigan State or Penn State but haven’t really gotten that interest from the coaches yet? It’s an interesting opportunity.

GF3: The specifics of Northwestern aside, I'm very wary of the new signing period. College football is a many-headed beast that has shown time and again the ability to resist, defy, or circumvent even the most reasonable attempts to regulate behavior. Call me a cynic, but I think this opens another conduit for coaches to mess with the lives of kids and to leverage their resources to cheat the system. While it would be nice if this was a way for non-bowl teams to excel and achieve better results on the recruiting trail, I think they'll find that the big boys still get their hooks in early and poach the better talent during this period.

WSR: I personally like it, because I’ve always been terrified of more Nate Andrews situations happening. Minnesota worked hard to find a kid that was flying under the radar a bit compared to his talent, recruited him and got a commitment, only to have FSU swoop in because they missed out on their targets. This will reward the programs that are proactive in recruiting, and could be very harmful to teams that employ lazy coaches. I do believe that there needs to be an opportunity for kids to get out of their commitment if the HC leaves a team just like basketball has, but that’s really my only concern. At the end of the day, the only people I want hurt are schools that toss out offers to kids for which the kids actually can’t commit because they’re the fallback plan if they don’t get their high-level target. Looking your direction right now, Him Jarbaugh.

Aaron Yorke: I love this news because it will allow James Franklin to trick recruits from Maryland and New Jersey into signing with Penn State before they realize that he’s a snake-oil salesman who doesn’t know how to run an offense and will never win a Big Ten championship.

Stew: I generally think it’s a good idea. However, I do think recruits should be granted a release if there has been a coaching change since they signed (Head Coach or position, December or February). So there’s one thing I agree with Bud on. For Iowa it’s a bit of a double edged sword. Iowa is generally good at scouting and finding the guys they want early, and then holding on to them throughout the process gets a bit harder. However, Iowa also is big on poaching MAC recruits, and this could really cut down on that. Honestly, I’m for no signing period, that is to say, kids should be able so sign whenever they want.

DJ: I think it’s a good idea and would mimic what Stew said regarding players being granted a release if a coach is fired or leaves for another job. I like this for the non-elite schools because it potentially prevents them from poaching from players already committed elsewhere that are their backup plan. For example, not to bring up the past, but this could have prevented a player like Dwayne Haskins or Keandre Jones from flipping to OSU a couple weeks before NSD because Urban missed his targets. Not really much of a downside that I can see.

Brian Towle (Corn Nation crootin guy): What this will do is make it great for schools that want to get off their ass, get their targets set early & get them to campus early. Yes, Nebraska is the posterchild of this, but I could see other schools like Maryland, Penn State and Michigan State get in on kids & get them signed before other schools like Ohio State, Michigan and the sort try to flip them in the late December timeframe.

What it will also do is make teams not wait on coming after Plan B kids like those that are MAC bound and such. Unfortunately, the two situations that it may affect kids negatively is 1) people leaving for other jobs, whether instructed by their AD or invited by another, and 2) kids who are on the fringe of qualifying. We saw that in Nebraska with Jaylin Bradley, who should honestly be a four-star prospect yet he didn’t get any reviews from scouting services until the December review of his grades.

One thing I will say about the December 20th date is that it’s a very odd time, in my mind, for that signing point. Schools that are in the middle of bowl prep (playing a game anywhere from 5-8 days after that) won’t be able to do a lot of loving before NLI’s are sent. Yes, it’s a dead period, but there are ways to get a hold of kids. Don’t be surprised if in the first year of this, some wires get crossed & kids bolt schools for seemingly stupid reasons.