According to Rivals listing of the top 100 players in the 2021 class, ten of them, or 10%, reside in California. With the state deciding to push sports to being December / January at the earliest, with specific plans being determined by each CIF district, that has a very real effect on recruiting, especially at the highest level.
The traditional recruiting calendar and February signing day was based on a traditional fall sports schedule, and while the early signing day has largely been considered a huge success, the shifting of sports is going to impact a lot things in ways we probably have yet to fully wrap our heads around.
As states have pondered, and announced their plans for football in the spring (or intending to keep it in the fall like Michigan), top players have had some time to think about if their season was pushed to the spring, would they decide to enroll early and miss their senior season? Or would they stick around for one more go-around with their high school teammates?
One of those first tough decisions came today.
Within moments of California's announcement of their modified season, 3-star defensive tackle Victory Vaka out of Westlake HS (CA) announced that he's made a "business" decision and will enroll early at Texas A&M missing his senior season, ensuring he's a 3-and-out for his high school career.
As more and more players are faced with these types of decisions in states that decide to push football from the fall to the spring, it creates an interesting dynamic for high school coaches who are happy for their players pursuing their dreams, but also left navigating a huge hole in their roster as they also try to come to terms with the challenges that come along with moving football out of the traditional fall season.
Decisions like Vaka's are something that we'll see more and more of in the coming days and weeks, and it will be an interesting subplot to keep tabs on.
Update> ....and now another
The nation's #1 recruit has weighed in as well