National Signing Day is now six months away.
If you are a high school recruit still deciding, you have six months to make up your mind.
And if you are a high school recruit who has already committed, you have six months to CHANGE your mind.
Chances are, we’ll see plenty of the latter.
We always do.
One thing we know for sure is that the fax machines at high schools in the New Orleans area will be plenty busy by the time Feb. 3 rolls around.
The football factory that we call New Orleans is producing college-bound players at a record pace this summer, with verbal commitments coming off the assembly line at a rate so rapid that it’s almost hard to keep track.
As of Saturday, over 30 local football players had already made commitments to where they plan to attend college.
That’s a very high number considering we are barely into August and the season is still five weeks away.
And that doesn’t include some of the highly touted players who haven’t made their intentions known yet.
Guys like John Curtis offensive lineman Willie Allen, Rummel cornerback Kristian Fulton, John Ehret linebacker Michael Divinity and Warren Easton receiver Clyde Chriss (all are four-star recruits who very well could get a fifth star before it’s all over) have yet to announce their decisions.
So far, players have committed to schools as far away as Columbia, Missouri and Tallahassee, Florida, to as close as uptown New Orleans.
Regardless of where they’re headed, they all pretty much had the same reason when asked what made them decide to commit so early.
“I just wanted to get it over with so I can focus on my senior season,” most of them replied.
Who can blame a kid for that?
An early commitment can bring to a halt all the phone calls from college recruiters trying to persuade them (and from recruiting analysts and reporters wanting to know the latest on the recruiting).
And if you’re solid on your commitment, why not get it over with?
Many commitments are solid.
And if you don’t believe me, take a picture of the list on this page of all the commitments and where the guys say they are headed.
Then look at that same list again the first Wednesday in February and see how much teenagers change their minds.
Take McDonogh 35 defensive end Sci Martin for example.
He verbally committed to Tulane earlier this summer.
Then he changed his mind and was set to announce his new choice Wednesday, choosing between LSU, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma and Florida State. He had visited the two Texas schools a day before.
Then he changed his mind about committing, putting his decision on hold.
“I wanted to go ahead and do it, but I talked to my coaches and my dad,” Martin said. “They want me to take some time and just think it through and make sure.
“You know, right after a visit, you’re all hyped and everything.”
So Martin did the smart thing, waiting to make absolutely sure now that where he commits is really where he wants to go.
He didn’t set a date for when he will actually announce.
Fortunately for him, he still has half a year to think about it before signing any papers.
If some college coaches had their way, players would be able to sign earlier.
There have been conversations about an early signing period for years.
Colleges who typically recruit well, of course, want to just keep the normal February signing period.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” they say.
Others would like an early signing period in November or December.
And then there are others who propose an early signing period in August.
That way, players could actually turn those verbal commitments into binding commitments before their senior seasons start.
That could have made for an awfully busy signing day around here this summer.
In June, the NCAA discussed the early signing period options but tabled the discussion on an early signing period until 2016.
The college commissioners wanted to give themselves a bit more time to think about it.
High school recruits, especially the 30 or so of you who have already committed, you have a little more time to think about your decisions, too.