Sometimes, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Nick Saban, like pretty much every coach at a powerhouse program, doesn’t like the idea of an early signing period.  Kirby Smart, who sat at Saban’s knee for many years — how do you think he feels about it?

“I’m not a big person that’s in favor of moving up the signing day or having an earlier signing period,” Smart said on the SEC coaches’ conference call on Wednesday. “You can argue some positives. Just like anything, there’s good and bad to both. But when the whole thing’s considered in totality, I just don’t think it’s something that going to be good for the kids, good for the players. I just don’t see it that way.”

Ah, yes.  The tried and tested “it’s not good for the kids” defense.  Straight out of the Saban playbook.  Funny how giving recruits more options is a bad thing.  Kirby should ask Roquan Smith how that worked out for him and Georgia.

On the players’ end, if a recruit signs with a school in June or December, the staff he commits to could experience turnover. Those who recruited him to that school could be gone. Ideally the prospect would commit to the school and not the coaches, but that’ll never be the case when dealing with highly persuasive recruiters who do a good job of selling themselves as coaches and their programs.

The same situation creates difficulty for staffs who stay intact. If a top target is a heavy lean to a program when the two early periods come and go and the staff decides to sign someone lower on the board to fill a need, it puts the coaches in a tough spot should the more highly-thought-of prospect change his mind and want to attend their school.

Smart sees the early signing period as merely an acceleration of a process he says he already sees as “rushed” in the first place. Having been an assistant coach for the past nine years gives him an unique point of view in that regard.

“Nobody really knows what will happen if you decide to have an early signing period,” Smart said. “I think there’s a lot of ramifications that we can’t foresee. Sometimes, when you’re not out there in the recruiting world and you’re not day-to-day traveling as an assistant coach, going out and recruiting, you don’t see what happens to kids who change their mind, coaches change jobs.”

C’mon, Kirby.  This isn’t that hard.  If you’re a top tier recruit who’s concerned about possible staff turnover, don’t sign until February.  You know every major program chasing you will hold a spot open for you until the last minute.  But if you’re not that kid and a program you really like extends you its hand earlier and you want the peace of mind a commitment brings, go for it.

The problem with an early signing period isn’t for the recruits.  It’s for the coaches who prefer the flexibility down to the last second of being able to pick and choose.  They don’t welcome the inconvenience an early signing period brings, pure and simple.


Filed under Recruiting

16 responses to “Sometimes, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

  1. While I concede your reasoning is true from the coaches view point. I don’t think your reasoning is completely accurate. Think of the kids that are fully committed to one school in the summer only to end up at another in February. Those kids will possibly end up at a less than ideal fit for them because they jumped to soon.

    • Again, there’s a real simple solution to your problem: don’t commit early.

      • Macallanlover

        And that is why I don’t see why Kirby says it is bad for the kids. Unless there is a gun to their head, it is their choice. Certainly not for everyone, but the majority of recruits know where the want to go, and honor their initial commitment. If they want to put it behind them, stop the ongoing contact from other schools, and concentrate on your senior year, you should be able to put it to bed.

  2. ASEF

    I don’t see how this fixes anything. It’s just the same process with less information for both sides. A cure worse than the disease. But hey, that’s how the NCAA likes to roll.

    • Napoleon BonerFart

      It helps the marginal kids who might be asked to grayshirt. Rather than committing to a school and hoping that school honors your scholarship offer, you can go ahead and sign and have peace of mind.

  3. MLB2

    Dammit, Bluto! You Kirby hating Richt apologist. You’re singlehandedly killing the program.

  4. JCDAWG83

    Make the “early” period start Dec 1 of a high school kid’s senior year. The coaches can see how he plays as a senior, it is unlikely the kid will have a major discipline issue after signing, coaches will have a full body of high school work to review, the kid will have been able to see the full season of the college team and have a feel for the stability of the coaching staff and the kid can still wait until February if he’s not 100% sure.

  5. Bob

    And what of the kid that’s signs early w/a skill set for an O or D within a particular coaching philosophy then finds that staff gone and replaced with a staff that dramatically changes the type O or D? With the argument for the ESD that kid is SOL.

    • Napoleon BonerFart

      Nobody is going to force the kid to sign early. It’s his option.

      It makes no sense to argue that, because one option might turn out bad for a kid, we should make sure he doesn’t have the option.

      Should a restaurant serve shrimp? What if someone is allergic to shrimp? Should that person not order shrimp, or should we just pass a law that no restaurants can serve shrimp?

      • Macallanlover

        Well played. Village gone raise these chillins, no need to ‘spect them to make decisions. When I lived in NC the Dept of Agriculture made restaurants cook all hamburgers well done, regardless of the customer’s preference because someone in California died from a eating a hamburger at a Jack In the Box restaurant. Beautiful. Not even a release form I could sign letting the establishment off the hook and free from ambulance chasers. Thank you mommy.

  6. 69Dawg

    Want to see some real fun let the kids just stop signing LOI’s altogether. The coaches would have nervous breakdowns. Let’s just wait and see who shows up for class in June. Scheme coaches would be out of work since the coaches would actually have to be able to coach what they got. I know it’s just a dream but what the heck.

    Serious note. If they go with this early signing date it should just be December – February no kid should be ale to sign before the end of his senior season period end of discussion.

    • Napoleon BonerFart

      Why not? Coaches don’t have to take the risk of offering a kid before his senior season. Why do we have to keep protecting guys like Saban from themselves?

  7. Charles

    Players will be pressed into signing early just like they are now pressed into committing. Unrealistic to think otherwise. It will help some and hurt others.

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