Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has always been in favor of an early signing period. So when news broke last week the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee is proposing two early signing periods be up for approval in April, Swinney was pleased. Well, sort of.
Swinney admitted after Wednesday’s practice that he is not a fan of one of the dates that was proposed. The Oversight Committee proposed there be an early signing day period in June and one in December.
“To me, I don’t think June is the right time, I think August 1 would be better or December tied into the JUCO,” he said. “One of them, either August for December, to me makes the most sense. June does not make any sense to me.
Regardless, Swinney said two early signing periods would be good for college football in general, and is a win-win for the players, the coaches and the schools.
“Again, guys that know what they want to do will sign,” the Clemson coach said. “Some of the rhetoric out there is that it is going to speed up the recruiting process, but it actually is going to slow it down. It is going to slow it down big time. It is going slow some of these early offers down because if a guy is committed, you are going to know they are committed because you are going to expect them to sign.
“It will also slow some of the early offers down because if you offer them then they have that opportunity to sign and it is going to (keep) some of these schools from cutting these guys in the end. I think it is a win, win, win all the way around.”
Swinney says he would like the first early signing day to be in August because it gives the kids more time to make sure this is what want to do and still with the option of getting the process completed before their final season of high school begins so they can concentrate on helping their current team.
“Again, if you have all these guys making all these early commitments and then they don’t sign, then you know they are not committed, and then vice versa,” he said. “If a school is taking a guy’s commitment and the kid wants to sign in August, but now you are not going to want to sign him, then it is better for that kid to find out in August instead of January that the school is backing off on him.”
The early signing periods will also clean up the recruiting process as a whole.
“These kids that know what they want to do will go ahead and use the opportunity to get that behind them and protect them in that regard. I have always felt like that is the best time, but I would be okay with December as well if they do it that way,” Swinney said.
Swinney said he would also like to see the kids protected should the school they signed with in June or December, either fires their coach or the coach leaves and goes to another school.
“If you have a group of guys that sign in August and the school fires the coach or the coach ups and leaves, then (the letter of intent) is null and void, and they can re-sign with the school or sign with someone else in February on the normal signing date,” Swinney said. “That gives them the protection so they are not locked in if the coach is fired or leaves. That is a fair opportunity for everybody, but what do I know.”
Injury updates. Swinney said wide receivers Mike Williams (hamstring) and Hunter Renfrow (hand) are expected to play on Saturday against NC State, as is linebacker Jalen Williams (knee) and defensive end Austin Bryant (foot).