The arrival of the new set of college football recruiting rules will clearly work to accelerate the process.
Players will be able to visit campuses earlier and sign earlier. Coaches will have to make some of their own decisions earlier, creating challenges when it comes to assessing a prospect’s academics.
The early signing period is the shift that will almost assuredly have the biggest impact on the 2018 class, and South Carolina coach Will Muschamp noted one big shift.
“I really look at it as the early signing day, of the 24 guys we signed, probably 13 of them would have signed with us in December,” Muschamp said. “All it really does is enable you to move forward on the underclassmen for the years to come.”
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He has been less bullish on the early visits, pointing to more of the process going on in a player’s junior year, and said he liked the recruiting calendar just the way it was.
Muschamp also said the new rules will lessen players “reserving” a spot with one school while actively looking to jump if better offers come along.
The Gamecocks had the vast majority of their 2017 class committed well before the December signing window (Dec. 20-23), and signed six of those early, five who enrolled.
A year prior, in large part because of a coaching change, USC secured 13 commits between Dec. 23 and the end of signing day. At least eight of those contributed in 2016, three in notable roles, including late bloomer quarterback-turned-starting running back Rico Dowdle.
But what the new rules will do is clear the way forward, freeing up resources in January so they can be put toward the next class.
“I do think that is a pretty impactful situation as far as being able to sign those guys and know that you don’t have to recruit them till February like you do in a lot of situations,” Muschamp said.