What Is the Early Signing Period? A Closer Look at December’s National Signing Day

    College football's early signing period has become an important date in the calendar and will see recruits officially commit to their chosen school.

    College football’s early signing period will shortly begin, with many high school recruits selecting which college football program they will join for the new season. With the regular season over, teams, coaches, players, and fans start looking toward the next season’s recruits to see which prospects will be able to take them to the next level.

    The early signing period will see many of the top recruits in the nation officially sign with college programs.

    What Does the Early Signing Period Entail?

    Recruiting in college football never stops, and the early signing period officially confirms which schools the recruits will be attending.

    The early signing period in college football occurs in December, and recruits officially commit to their chosen schools.

    It is a 72-hour window where recruits move from a verbal commitment with their chosen school to officially signing before the new year begins. The period has become increasingly important as the years have passed, with 80% of all college football recruits signing during the early signing period in 2022.

    The traditional signing window, however, runs from February to April for Division I teams and February to August for Division II teams.

    But, by signing their National Letters of Intent in the early signing period, recruits create certainty.

    Firstly, by contractually signing with a school in the early signing period, the recruit can start to plan their futures and transition to the next stage of their careers, making the relationship between school and recruit official.

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    Secondly, for the school, it provides certainty to athletic directors and coaches that their player is locked up for the immediate future.

    The early signing period is also important because it allows those recruits who sign early to enroll at their chosen college in the spring. This has massive benefits to the integration of the recruit into college and allows them to start training in their new surroundings early.

    How To Watch Early Signing Day Announcements

    The early signing period has also become a significant event for television. Most top-class recruits commit officially on the opening day of the period, and you will see the big names in the recruitment class sitting in front of cameras, surrounded by family and teammates with many school caps in front of them.

    You often see the recruit make a speech before selecting and donning the hat of their chosen college program. ESPN’s family of channels shows hours of coverage, while you can also find YouTube live streams throughout the three days.

    The early signing period means coaches and staff can rest easy knowing their recruits are now locked up, while fans can dream of the future and how these recruits can elevate their beloved programs.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

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