When Is Early Signing Day in 2023?

    In 2023, college football's early signing day takes place on December 20 and will see most of this season's recruits officially sign with their school.

    College football’s early signing day indicates the move from one season to the next and sees some of the next recruiting class officially commit to their chosen schools.

    The landscape of college football has changed, and the same applies to recruiting.

    2023 Early Signing Day Dates and Times

    Traditionally, high school recruits had to wait for the official National Signing Day to contractually commit to their chosen school (which takes place on the first Wednesday in February,) however, the early signing period allows those who have already verbally committed to making their declaration official.

    The early signing day has become an established part of the college football calendar and takes place in December and is open for 72 hours.

    In 2023, the early signing period is open starting on Wednesday, Dec. 20. 2023, at 7 a.m. local time, and ends on Friday, Dec. 22. 2023. At 11:59 p.m. local time.

    The times are subject to the timezone that a recruit is signing in.

    If a recruit wishes to wait before signing their National Letter of Intent (NLI), then they can hold on until the regular signing period, which begins on Feb. 7, 2024. The period ends on April 1, 2024, for Division I programs and on Aug. 1, 2024 for Division II schools.

    The majority of high school recruits do, however, sign their NLIs on Early Signing Day. It means they are contractually locked into their chosen college. The period is positive for both the player and the team, providing clarity on a recruit’s chosen location and allowing the player and the program to take the next step.

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    Until this point, schools and recruits have only had a verbal agreement that is not contractually binding.

    The benefit of officially signing during the early period, rather than the traditional National Signing Day, means that teams can start to finalize their rosters and prevents both schools and recruits from backing out. Recruiting never stops in college football, and signing during early signing day means that neither the player nor the school can uncommit.

    It also allows players to enroll in school early, meaning they can start training during the spring semester.

    Early signing day was introduced by the NCAA in 2017 to allow recruits greater control. For many, a verbal agreement has already been arranged between the recruit and the school, and introducing the early signing day simply means making the relationship legal.

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