National Signing Day is no longer a second Christmas for schools

By Otis Kirk
on 2024-02-07 06:21 AM

FAYETTEVILLE — Prior to December, 2017, this reporter and others would have gotten two or three hours sleep last night while working the latest football recruiting rumors.

The National Signing Day on the first Wednesday of each February was when recruits would sign with a college making it official. At this point coaches, reporters, recruits and everyone concerned with the process was exhausted. Coaches had to continue to recruit players who had been committed for months as well as add to the class and host official visitors on weekends.

The NCAA inserted a three-day window for December beginning in 2017 to allow prospects to sign early. Arkansas signed all their prospects during that period this year. All but three prospects who signed with Arkansas, from high school and the transfer portal, in the Class of 2024 are enrolled in classes and going through the off-season program. The other three signed on Dec. 20, but will enroll in late May or early June. They are all from high school.

Arkansas will obviously add a few more football recruits after the next window for the transfer portal, but that is later in the spring. Last year on the traditional National Signing Day Arkansas added Ashdown tight end Shamar Easter. He only signed late because his recruiter left for another job and he wanted to make sure of his decision.

With so many prospects graduating early from high school and transfer portal prospects wanting to get to their new school the traditional National Signing Day in February is losing less and less glamour each year.

Oddly Arkansas is connected to a prospect who is uncommitted. As of Tuesday, one ESPN Top 300 prospect remained uncommitted. That is Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point four-star wide receiver Ashton Bethel-Roman. He had signed with Arkansas on Dec. 20, but asked out of his commitment to Arkansas. The Razorbacks allowed the No. 210 prospect out of his commitment. The other 299 prospects in the ESPN Top 300 are locked in with schools. The majority signed in December.

Today, instead of tracking signings as they happen this reporter and many others will be free to do other things after a good night of sleep.

(Last updated: 2024-02-07 06:21 AM)