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FSU to benefit under college football’s new early Signing Day

The December signing day lets Fisher & staff focus on big fish after an early haul.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Michigan vs Florida State Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA approved an early college football National Signing Day rule Friday:

From Bud’s national write-up:

The existing date of the first Wednesday in February will remain, but to it will be added a date right before Christmas, coinciding with the traditional junior college signing date. In 2016, that would have meant Dec. 14, but in 2017, will be Dec. 20. The new signing window would last for three days.

Do me a favor; go read what Bud wrote.

How this affects FSU

While the spirit of the rule is meant to alleviate recruits from an extended time of contact with football types, FSU’s program reasons to benefit.

How? Consider the most recent recruiting class. As of December 14th, 2016, FSU had the following recruits committed to play at FSU:

Recruits commited prior to December 14th, 2016

Player Position Height Weight Composite Stars
Player Position Height Weight Composite Stars
Khalan Laborn RB 5'10" 193 5
Stanford Samuels DB 6'1" 161 4
Bailey Hockman QB 6'2" 190 4
Cyrus Fagan DB 6'2" 182 4
Zaquandre White RB 5'11" 203 4
Ja'len Parks DT 6'3" 304 4
D.J. Matthews WR 6'1" 175 4
Alex Marshall TE 6'7" 240 3
Brady Scott OL 6'6" 285 3
DeCalon Brooks LB 5'10" 190 3
James Blackman QB 6'4" 160 3
Cory Durden DT 6'4" 287 3

That’s twelve recruits (seven blue-chips) at nine different positions that would be locked down seven weeks prior to the February Signing Day. Note this excludes some early enrollees who didn't commit until after the 14th, who likely would have signed then. Still, that’s half of the final class total (24), meaning Fisher & staff would have been able to focus solely on filling the remaining spots. Even without the early signing period, though, FSU closed incredibly well - landing the #1 defensive tackle in the nation, Marvin Wilson.

The early Signing Day could have benefited FSU even before last year. Consider in 2016, FSU had 16 of its (eventual) 25 commits secured prior to that year’s early signing period in mid-December. In 2015: 16 of 19. In 2014: 21 of 29. That’s a lot of recruits a coach wouldn’t have had to spend much time contacting over a six- or seven-week span, thereby freeing them up to work on a late flip or later-deciding kid (e.g., Marvin Wilson, Landon Dickerson).

Given FSU’s success with getting early commitments as well as recruits to enroll early (seven in ‘17, seven in ‘16, six in ‘15), the rule change positions FSU and Fisher to close late— perhaps even better than they are currently.