We just experienced the first early signing period for college football, and Utah signed six kids, but I think the question that a lot of fans may be wondering if, is this early signing period good for the Utes? Honestly, I think it’s a resounding yes, for a couple of reasons, and this is likely the case across the country.
Less getting recruits poached
Over the years, Utah has had seemingly a ton of recruits pulled from them days or weeks from signing day, one that comes to mind in the wide receiver Melquise Stovall. He had told the staff that he was a Ute, and the next day he signed with Cal. Now this can obviously happen now, but now kids will have an option to lock down their first choice early and move on. This is good for the kids too, because now they can either enroll early, which has been happening forever, or they can focus on their senior year of high school and stop getting pestered by coaches. Utah does a great job identifying recruits, so much so they tip some off for other programs, and getting the kids into the program quickly has to be a relief to the coaches.
Program can now focus on remaining targets
Instead of playing defense with some recruits against other programs, the program can focus all of their attention on remaining targets. Along with that, with the players signed the coaching staff now has a better idea of what holes they need to focus on for the rest of the class. Utah now knows they have the QB of the future, a couple of JC players that should plug a couple of holes quickly, and some young talent in a couple of other spots. Now they won’t get surprised come the first week of February by losing one of these guys, and needing to find a replacement, while they should also be focusing on the other targets.
Clarifies who is available to target
The coaching staff now knows who is definitely not available, and they’re seeing which schools are filling up their classes, which can be used to their advantage. Big name schools, like Alabama, USC and others always offer way more, and receive more commitments from kids than they have available scholarships, meaning that some kids will be left high and dry. Those are some of the kids they could target and clean up with. Recruiting is nothing more than a numbers game, and some big name programs don’t care about those numbers, to the detriment of some kids.
I think the early signing period is a win for everyone involved. Sure, if you have bowl prep that may make some things tough logistically on things, but it makes things easier on the kids, and brings increased clarity to a school recruiting strategy, instead of heaping it all on a day in February.