Nick Saban ain’t happy about the proposed early signing periods. Nope, not one bit.
On Wednesday the NCAA Division I Council proposed two early signing periods for football, with the first in late June and the second in mid-December.
Alabama coach Nick Saban was quick to voice his opinion Wednesday evening after practice.
“I am absolutely, positively against any kind of early signing date, especially a June signing date before a guy plays his senior year,” Saban said in a news conference. “If we want to have an early signing date after the season, I would be more for that. We’ve moved the recruiting calendar forward, which creates a lot of issues and problems when it comes to evaluations, not only of a player but of his character and his academic status.”
I’m not sure that having sufficient time for character evaluation is a place you should be going, brother. You had plenty of that to assess Jonathan Taylor’s character, but couldn’t even find the time to speak with folks like the district attorney who handled Taylor’s case… or Mark Richt, for that matter. But I digress.
Because that’s not really what’s got Saban’s ass chapped here.
“From a high school coach’s standpoint, what is really the guy’s motivation to play and really work hard to get better to play for his team in his senior year?”
Uh, no, that’s not it either, Nick. Try again.
Saban said the Crimson Tide may not have signed freshman tailback Joshua Jacobs had an early signing period been in place last year. Jacobs, a 5-foot-10, 200-pounder from Tulsa, Okla., played in only six games as a junior at McClain High School due to injury but blossomed as a senior, rushing for 2,704 yards and an eye-popping 15.1 yards per carry.
Jacobs rushed 16 times for 100 yards in last Saturday’s 34-6 win over Kentucky.
“We probably would have been full, and that is what I am talking about,” Saban said. “We would probably make some academic, character and maybe evaluation mistakes, because you aren’t even seeing a guy play during his senior season.
Ah, now we’re getting warmer. Can’t let those late bloomers fall through the cracks; those missed opportunities can be real killers, amirite? But let’s face it, people — what school has better resources than Alabama to evaluate players, even early on?
So, it still feels like we’re missing something else here. What could it be?
The SEC has been one of the most vocal opponents of an early signing period in the past, but a conference coach admitted he has come around to the idea and says he thinks it will even benefit the recruits.
“I love the idea now,” he said. “I think it’ll finally make schools think twice about offering kids early with no plan of taking their commitment. If they really want them, they’re going to have to sign them now. That’ll help a recruit truly tell if they’re wanted by that school… “
Congratulations, Holmes, you’ve cracked the case! Saban wouldn’t be able to bookmark recruits with things like contingent offers or offers made in a kid’s sophomore season. Instead, he’d have to spend time convincing rising seniors not to commit elsewhere early, so that he would have the full opportunity to decide whether it’s worth extending a binding offer. Even for Alabama, that’s a tougher sell.
Figure on plenty more angst to come on how early signing periods are bad for the kids. After all, that’s how these guys roll.