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Potential recruiting rules changes could benefit schools like Missouri

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

So it appears the NCAA will soon implement a December signing period for college football. This will make football recruiting a lot like basketball recruiting, with early and late signing periods; it will be interesting to see if there’s the same effect — in basketball, most prospects sign early, so for the football blue-chippers we’re used to seeing hat ceremonies for in February ... are they going to do that in December or February now?

There’s more than a date change/addition at play here, though, and Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples did a lovely job of walking through the proposed changes here.

That’s a nice fallback window for borderline recruits:

The earlier date also could force coaching staffs to declare whether a scholarship offer means what they say it does. Every year, a few players learn shortly before National Signing Day that the “offer” they thought they had either evaporated or was replaced by an offer to “grayshirt,” to delay enrollment a semester and go on scholarship in January of the following year. “Everybody’s going to have to show their cards two months earlier,” Dudek says. And the players left without an offer would have two months to find another scholarship instead of a few weeks.

Because of another change that would allow for earlier official visits, certain trips would get easier to make:

The change in official visit dates also could help level the playing field for schools such as Nebraska, Oregon State and Syracuse that aren’t located in recruiting hotbeds. With more players choosing a school during the summer between their junior and senior years of high school, those schools faced a distinct disadvantage. It’s much easier for Auburn to convince a recruit to drive two hours from Atlanta for an unofficial visit than it is for Nebraska to convince that same player to drive 15 hours or shell out hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket. Now, the Cornhuskers may have the option to bring in players before the frenzy of summer commitments hits. If those players like Lincoln, they may be willing to pay their own way for an unofficial visit during camp or during football season.

Another benefit: more visits when the damn weather is actually nice. Can’t hurt Mizzou.

Finally, those adept at early talent evaluation could benefit significantly (while, alternatively, those less adept at it will suffer):

The earlier official visits and earlier signing day may also lead to slightly earlier offers, but that might not be as terrible as initially projected. This may force programs to make more offer decisions based on junior film and the spring practice between a prospect’s junior and senior years rather than based on performance in camps and at seven-on-seven tournaments. “The less of the underwear warrior offers there are, the better you’re going to be,” Dudek said.

Mizzou obviously sends out a lot of offers after its summer camps (and still probably will), but early evaluation and early offers were a strength under Gary Pinkel; if Barry Odom and his staff end up as adept at it as Pinkel and company, Missouri could benefit under these potential new regulations.

Other Links

  • PowerMizzou put together one last Mizzou priority list for the 2017 class.
  • Texas head coaches don’t have to venture too far out of the state to find stud recruits, but Tom Herman is. It will be interesting to gauge the level of pursuit over the coming months, but Herman offered four of St. Louis’ 2018 studs yesterday. That could be a reflection of Herman’s overall recruiting strategy ... and it could just further signify how deep/awesome St. Louis is in the 2018 recruiting cycle.