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After the first year of the early and February signing periods, it was clear recruiting changed in 2017. More players signed in December than anyone anticipated.
Rebecca Clark Butler asks, with December being so important for recruiting, does that have a negative impact on teams who are in bowl games?
If this year was an indication, the early signing period will be the dominant one going forward. The Sooners signed 18 of their 22 recruits during the early period and that number could rise.
Remember, Part 2 of the recruiting rule changes go into effect this year. Schools can begin hosting official visitors in April this year. This move is expected to make more recruits want to get the recruiting process over earlier.
NCAA recruiting rules take all coaches off the road prior to the third weekend in December. That’s also the last weekend schools can host recruits. The rule is there so, in theory, the coaching staffs in bowl games can take a break from recruiting and focus on the next game.
You did hear some complaints from coaching staffs that were involved in pre-Christmas bowl games about the December signing period. On the other hand, they also erred on the side of less bowl prep vs. recruiting.
But here’s the reality: Recruiting is a year-round operation. The days of going out and meeting and signing recruits in December for the first time and signing them in February ended years ago. Of the 22 players Oklahoma signed in this class, the coaching staff spent well over a year building a relationship with just about all of them. The job requires being able to coach and recruit at the same time.