Coaches corner: Middle Georgia head coaches weigh in on early signing period

Article and photos courtesy of the Macon Telegraph –> Original Article Here

This season, The Telegraph will reach out to coaches periodically to discuss issues with high school sports in the Coaches Corner.

Today’s question: What are your thoughts on the new signing period for college football? Is it good or bad for the athletes? Should it go even further and have one in August instead of December? Or is it a mistake to have a second signing period at all?

David Bruce, Veterans

“I am not in favor of an early signing period for a couple of reasons. First, there are a lot of coaching changes that happen in December. Players build relationships with not only the school but the coaching staff. If there is a change, it may not be in the players’ best interest to be required to attend that university. They may not fit the scheme they were recruited for. Secondly, I personally don’t believe kids should even be allowed to verbally commit or receive an official offer until June 1st of their senior year. This would eliminate a lot of the committing and de-committing that goes on now. Just my two cents!”

Chad Campbell, Peach County

“I don’t really care one way or another. It just doesn’t need to be any sooner. If it were sooner, there are a couple of factors you have to throw into the entire process. 1. A kid may decide he has already got his opportunity and might not give as much as he should during his senior season to his high school team. 2. May have a change in coaching staffs at the school he has signed with.”

Ryan Crawford, Houston County

“I think high school coaches will appreciate the early signing period because it will help to get the colleges to ‘show their hand’ to players that they string along in the recruiting process. The period being coupled with JUCO signing can help bring former players with current players together for recognition. Lastly, most players by December of their senior year know where they want to go so it gives them the chance to go ahead and get the process over.”

Mark Daniel, Rutland

“One is enough. Too much hype around it now, and it is ruining kids. Hershel Walker never needed this much hype. He just showed up at UGA and then became known. Society is trying to make superstars out of these kids before they ever play a down in college.”

Mark Farriba, Stratford

“I think it’s fine. I think if a guy is ready to commit … I think it forces everybody’s hand a little bit. You still have the option of later. The only thing I don’t like about it is, for example for us, if we have a guy who wants to commit then, we usually do like a ceremony and have a nice … we’re not even in school then. We can wait, but it’s a little anticlimactic if you do that. It’s OK. I just wish they would consider, ‘What’s going on in the high schools during this time?’ It’s not all about them. Some of it is about the kid and the high school because we want to celebrate with the player and his family. It sort of makes it a little bit more difficult for us to do that in December at that point. But it’s OK. I’m not opposed to it.”

Ashley Harden, Northeast

“I like the early signing period. It will get the top tier kids off the board and give the second tier kids a opportunity to possibly sign in February.”

Keith Hatcher, Mount de Sales

“I am in favor of it for two reasons. Early signing period will give the high profile prospects an opportunity end the recruiting process earlier and focus on their future with their school of choice. It will also give the lower level schools more clarity on who is available to sign, which doesn’t leave them chasing high profile kids that they will lose out on in the end.”

Chance Jones, Tattnall Square

“I think, for the most part, it benefits the colleges more than the players. Players will still waiver, but college coaches, they can get home a couple of more days earlier than they normally would with the signing period so late. And they won’t have to stress as much.”

Greg Moore, FPD

“I think it’s ultimately a good idea for the kids. I’ve long been a proponent that the sooner we can make a decision about them going to school, the better and avoid any conflict their senior year. So I think that’s a good thing. I do have a concern, not with the early signing period, but in general, and some people would say, ‘It is what it is.’ I’m a little concerned if I sign early and in January the school makes a coaching change. So I’ve committed in December to somebody I thought was going to be my coach at least for my freshman year. If you wait, that happens less in February. I think that’s something that needs to be considered. If they sign early, is there some exemption to get out. But only if it’s got to do with staff changes, not just he changed his mind.”

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