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Report: NCAA Exploring Changes to National Signing Day



A WVU football rests on the sideline at the Duke's Mayo Bowl

(Karl Ludwig, Pittsburgh Sports Now) 

Ever since the early signing period was implemented in 2017, less and less attention has been paid to National Signing Day every February.

The December signing period has become the de facto National Signing Day, with most of WVU’s commits signing in December each year, and it appears that the signing period may be getting even earlier.

According to a report by The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach, there have been advanced discussions in the National Letter of Intent subcommittee of the Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) about moving the December signing period to the Wednesday before the FBS championship games, which is Dec. 4 this year. It would allow high schoolers to sign their National Letters of Intent before the transfer portal officially opens.

“The biggest reason we’re doing this is to clear up the football recruiting calendar so the signing period and the transfer portal don’t overlap,” committee chairman Tom Wistrcill told The Athletic. “The feedback we’ve received from all coaches is that December is a mess. Especially with the expansion of the CFP coming next year, that just creates more chaos in December. This should help.”

Auerbach further reported that another option being discussed is introducing a summer signing period in either June or August, which would begin and end before a high school student’s senior season. It would be the third NLI opportunity — allowing for a February period, a summer period and a December period.

The world of college football is rapidly changing, as the transfer portal and NIL continue to evolve on what sometimes feels like a daily basis, and it’s left high school students in a tough spot. Of course, the four- and five-star recruits are still okay, still receiving tons of offers and NIL opportunities of their own, but the transfer portal isn’t good for everyone.

Those under-recruited players who may have latched on at the FBS level, maybe even at the Power Five level, are having their opportunities disappear as more and more coaching staffs around the country target older, more experienced players from the portal.

So, while it remains to be seen whether or not the CCA will pass either signing day measures (it seems likely that at least one will pass), it’s clear that high school recruiting will continue to be a vital part of not just WVU football, but college football everywhere. Even if those opportunities may appear more limited.

The summer window would bring a new meaning to a recruit committing “early” to a program, and that seems long overdue. The December window moving up isn’t a drastic change, but it’s clearly being looked at as a way to “jump” the transfer portal opening. However, it would also interfere with potential championship game prep.

Click here for the rest of WV Sports Now’s coverage of WVU football recruiting.

Most of this story initially appeared on our partner site Pittsburgh Sports Now.

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