football

Smart gives his take on new early signing period, other rules

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Kirby Smart isn't a big fan on one of the new rule changes on recruiting.
Radi Nabulsi

With an early signing period now in place for college football, coaches like Georgia’s Kirby Smart are having to make some adjustments for how they handle recruiting.

So, what does he think of the new rule, approved last week by the NCAA’s Division I Council?

“What I see happening is you’ll be seeing the guys who are truly committed less,” Smart said. “They’re going to sign in December so they’re going to be the most consistent commitments, for 12 months or however long it is, will be locked up.”

This is how it will work:

Along with the traditional first Wednesday in February, recruits will also be able to sign during the new early signing period to take place in December.

Coinciding with the new rule will be the addition of a period for official visits that will start April 1 of the junior year until the Sunday before the final Wednesday in June of that year. Also, official visits can’t take place in conjunction with a prospect’s participation in a school’s camp or clinic effective Aug. 1.

“People think it’s going to cut down on cost. But you’re not going to spend less because you’re doing that, you’re going to see somebody else. You’re going to see the last 10 guys to get. You’re going to see the next 2019, 2020 kids more,” Smart said. “So, you’re going to do something with that time, but you’re not going to do what we call babysit a recruit. I think that’s how it will affect it but it will speed up the process on other kids.”

That’s not all.

Satellite camps are now a thing of the past while the Division I Council also approved new prospect legislation which would restrict schools from hiring the head coach of recruits for a two-year period before and after their hire.

The rule is identical to the one currently used for college basketball.

Smart, however, isn’t necessarily a big fan.

“I still stand by it’s hard to develop coaches and grow coaches like we do in the SEC without the ability to hire high school coaches,” Smart said. “They argue you can still hire them, you just can’t hire them with the prospects you’re recruiting. But when you sign 25 kids, it’s hard to not hire one that’s not associated with a prospect. So, it does limit those guys and that’s the most disappointing thing.”

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