Major Changes Ahead for College Football Signing Day? (Sponsored by NSR)

The following article is sponsored by National Scouting Report. Visit NSR’s web site at


Wednesday could mark the end of an era in college football recruiting.

Dozens of Suburban One League seniors will end their recruiting journeys Wednesday by signing National Letters of Intent with NCAA schools.

Cameras will be clicking at National Signing Day ceremonies all over Bucks and Montgomery counties as well as the rest of the state and country.

The first Wednesday in February marks the first day of the two-month signing period for NCAA Division I, Division I-AA (FCS) and II prospects. However, 2017 also could mark the last year that day carries so much importance for top football prospects.


If the NCAA’s Division I council approves a sweeping package of reforms in mid-April, most top high school players in future classes will be able to sign in mid-December. The new, three-day signing period for Division I prospects would coincide with the junior-college signing period.

The early signing period wouldn’t replace the February signing period. However, most Division I signings likely would occur two months earlier.

The proposed package also would permit colleges to host football recruits on official visits (paid for by the school) between April and June of the prospect’s junior year of high school. That would allow prospects to visit more schools without spending as much money. Today, they can’t take official visits until Sept. 1 of their senior year.

The earlier signing day and earlier official visits likely would lead to earlier offers. That could force college programs to make more offers based on junior year films and spring practice between the junior and senior years rather than evaluation at camps and seven-on-seven tournaments.

The new signing period also would allow longtime committed prospects to end the recruiting process earlier and force college coaches to make “binding” offers to prospects.

Every year, several prospects learn shortly before National Signing Day that their offers have disappeared or were replaced by offers to “grayshirt,” forcing them to delay enrollment for a semester and wait until January of the following year to go on scholarship. In the future, coaches would have to “commit” to prospects two months earlier, while prospects left without offers would have two months -- instead of a few weeks -- to seek other offers.

National Scouting Report, the world’s oldest and largest college recruiting organization, has received dozens of requests from college football coaches seeking 2018-20 prospects. More than 95 percent of NSR’s qualified prospects receive scholarship offers. For more information, contact NSR Area Director Gary Silvers, former Executive Sports Editor of the Bucks County Courier Times, at (215) 480-8764 or