SEC coaches favor early signing period:
DESTIN, Fla. – SEC football coaches could vote today on a proposal that would set an early signing date after the regular season only for recruits who have not taken official visits.
The SEC voted 9-3 last year against an early signing date to complement February’s national signing day. By modifying the language, SEC coaches appear willing to set a date that doesn’t compete for coaches’ time during the regular season.
“I think it’s more in favor right now with this group than it has been at any time in the past,” Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said. “It looks like I’m now in the majority rather than the minority.”
For several years, the American Football Coaches Association has asked conferences to consider an early date. But conferences have struggled to reach a consensus on when. The SEC couldn’t even agree on the concept last year, with only LSU’s Les Miles, Vanderbilt’s Bobby Johnson and Brooks voting in favor of it.
Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom said the SEC is working on language that could produce a compromise: A signing date before the contact period starts in December – perhaps the Monday before the SEC championship game – for recruits who have yet to take an official visit to any school.
“It’s strictly for that young man who knows where he wants to go,” Croom said. “He’ll take official visits later, but if he wants to get signing out of the way, he can sign.”
Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer and Alabama’s Nick Saban are among the coaches also now willing to have an early signing date.