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Football: NCAA officially adopts early signing period

OSU coach Urban Meyer is interviewed during media day on Dec. 29. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

National Signing Day will come a little earlier for student-athletes in the 2018-19 football recruiting class.

The NCAA announced on Monday that it has officially adopted an early signing period for football recruits following the approval by the Collegiate Commissioners Association, the governing body for the National Letter of Intent program. The new rule will allow recruits to sign a letter of intent to play for a collegiate program within a 72-hour period between the dates of Dec. 22 and 25.

Previously, prospective student-athletes for football were unable to officially sign a letter of intent until the first Wednesday in the month of February.

The CCA added in their release that while this will change the signing period for high school recruits, the period for junior college students to transfer remains between Dec. 20, 2017 and Jan. 15, 2018.

The rule change had been approved on April 14 during a meeting held among the NCAA Division I council and the American Football Coaches Association, but the change could not be made official until the CCA approved the change in a vote.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer spoke out against the proposal back on Sept. 26, 2016, saying that an early signing period would be forcing young kids to make a decision too early. He also said that as a coach, it would be difficult for him to be able to know exactly where a kid will be physically by the time he starts playing collegiate football, citing the physical development of his son during a six-month period.

“Bodies change and the game of football, I want as much time, I want to watch them play their senior year,” Meyer said. “I wish we would move it back. Everybody is talking about moving it forward and having an early signing period — and I heard July, early signing date. That means they’re going to be visiting here, some of them, 16 years old. Most 17 years old. Without some of them SAT or ACT score. Doesn’t make sense. And if I’m a high school coach, I’m not in favor of that at all either.”

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