Bo Pelini and Rich Rod have voiced a call to change for signing day recently, and now you can officially add Paul Johnson to the growing number of coaches in favor of getting rid of national signing day altogether.
As recruiting announcements have gotten sillier and sillier over the past decade, I personally believe that it’s a proposal that makes a lot of sense on a number of different levels.
Johnson explained his stance to the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently.
“Personally, with what Bo Pelini came out with, that’s what I’ve been talking about for years. That’s the way I would do it. You don’t even have a signing date. Once they commit, you give them a scholarship and they sign.”
“You get 25 signees per year, and 85 spots overall. I think they have to be in their senior year of high school (to be able to sign), or maybe complete their junior year.”
The best part of the proposal though, at least in my eyes, is twofold; it clears the muddy water for the kids as to whether they actually have an offer or not, and also for the coaching staffs on whether a guy is actually committed.
“It would cut all the (crap) out of it. All those people who think they have offers would find out that they really don’t have offers. You know, if somebody walked in your school and said ‘You have an offer,’ the kid could say ‘OK, where is it? I’m ready to sign it.’ This would stop all this foolishness. “
“It would work the same way with the kids saying ‘Yeah, coach, I’m committed.’ The college says ‘OK, here’s your scholarship. Sign it.’ The kid says ‘Well, I don’t want to sign right now.’ Well then that kid is not committed. If a kid didn’t want to sign, they wouldn’t sign. And if he did sign, it’s binding. It would stop all this ‘He’s a soft commit.’ It’s not a commit, it’s a reservation.’”
Add in there a clause where players can re-open their recruitment if a head coach changes jobs and this looks to be the best solution on the market. It ends the media outcry of the current model where players are perceived as the victims in the process when a coach changes jobs, or where some players have significant leverage over the programs recruiting them, and don’t need to sign a letter of intent at all.
Not only does it solve a multitude of issues, but it has an added bonus of having literally no affect on the current recruiting calendar whatsoever.