Michael Carvell does a good job asking a bunch of Georgia high school coaches today’s obvious question: what are your thoughts on Roquan Smith saying he’ll not sign a NLI?
The responses indicate to me that even if players haven’t thought much about foregoing the NLI, it’s something a lot of high school coaches are going to ponder going forward. But they also recognize it’s a strategy that’s only going to work for a limited number of prospects.
Lassiter’s Jep Irwin: “I think it is a viable option for the elite recruits that is not used enough. However, if you are not an elite recruit, this could backfire on the family. It’s important to know where you rank on a school’s board for your position and if they are willing to wait past national signing day.”
Arabia Mountain’s Stanley Pritchett: “I think this will affect the recruiting for the higher-ranked kids because they will hold the leverage over schools. But for the majority of kids, I don’t think this will affect them because there’s a possibility that it could backfire if they try the same thing.”
There’s also plenty of wisdom to the suggestion that kids who don’t have the leverage that Smith finds himself with right now need to focus on the school and the program first.
Milton’s Howie DeCristofaro: “We tell our players not to commit to a coach — they change like the weather. Commit to a program. The program’s building never moves.”
But the other interesting part of the discussion is that several of the coaches believe the schools will step in and amend the process so the top recruits can’t game the system.
Creekside’s Olten Downs: “I think it can be revolutionary, as I believe many parents and high school coaches didn’t know exactly what kind of document that an NLI really is. I can see future recruits doing the same … it seems as if the NCAA would step in and provide some new type of legislation if this became more prevalent.”
Central Gwinnett’s Todd Wofford: “I’ve been following it. I’m not sure but I would assume that there will be pressure to make some adjustment to the letter-signing process. The recruiting approach these days is family and trust, and these type things happen yearly (coaches leaving right after signing day). And the college coaches are really never in a position be accountable to the families that bought in to their sales pitch. I don’t know if putting a clause in the letter somehow would be the answer. They pay people way smarter than me to figure that one out.”
I have no idea how this is going to play out. But I suspect Downs and Wofford may be on to something if refusing to sign an NLI becomes a trend. We’ll just have to see who comes out of the gate as a proponent of imposing new restrictions. (As well as how certain lawyer types react to any across the board type move.)