Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson, like the majority of college football coaches, supports the general idea of an early signing period for the sport. “You’re going to see an early signing period here at some time,” Johnson told the AJC. “There needs to be an early signing period, just from a financial standpoint and from everything else. So that the kids who know where they want to go can get it done, and get it over with and save a bunch of money and a bunch of time … “It’s nuts right now. And financially, it doesn’t make sense to not have an early signing period. If you’ve got a kid who grew up wanting to go to Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, or wherever, and they’ve known that their whole life, why not let them sign in November or December? Why do they have to wait until February? “And then when they sign, the schools know exactly how many scholarships that they have left. They know exactly the numbers. It wouldn’t be as chaotic, and it would be a whole lot less expensive than trying to babysit them for three months.” Does Johnson think kids should be allowed take official visits during the summer before their senior year of high school? (Right now, they have to wait until Sept. 1, per NCAA rules) “Kids are already taking visits now. I mean, with the majority of our recruiting class – and I bet you can go back and look at anybody’s recruiting class, the majority of the kids are committed by August, which is before you can take official visits. What’s happening is if they did an early signing period, maybe they could do earlier visits or whatever because right now kids are having to pay for it themselves. They’re all taking unofficial visits. “I think what you would see happen is that the kids who weren’t sure and wanted to take official visits, they wouldn’t sign in the early period. That’s why I say I think you’d do away with all the early verbal commitments. Because if a kid is verbally committed in August or July, and he didn’t sign in December, what does that tell you? It tells you that maybe it really wasn’t a verbal commitment. So the kids who do want to sign can get it over with, and not be pestered and bothered until February. And like I said, it’s not going to affect anybody. You could have a provision in there that if the coach changed, then the early signing was null and void. That would protect (the kids) that way. There’s a way to do it.
Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson supports an early signing period
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Mar 11