Early signing period cranks up pressure for college football coaches
Twelve days removed from college football’s first December signing period, Kansas ranks next-to-last in the Big 12 with 12 verbal commitments. Only Kansas State, which never does as well in recruiting on paper as on the football field, has fewer (11) verbals.
The rest of the Big 12 members' numbers: West Virginia (22), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU (20), Texas Tech (19), Iowa State and Texas (18), according to Rivals, which ranks Texas slightly ahead of Oklahoma in its team recruiting rankings, followed by West Virginia, TCU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State.
Eight of KU’s 12 commitments are high school players and four are prospects from junior colleges.
KU head coach David Beaty shared his thoughts during Big 12 Media Days in July on the addition of the early signing period.
“One of the most interesting things for me is when kids are committed and that first period comes around how many of them actually sign and how many don’t, because if they don’t sign then, they’re not committed,” Beaty said.
Tough to argue that point, so it's now or never for KU's most celebrated recruits.
Kansas lost another commitment Wednesday when three-star defensive end Josh Smith of Landry-Walker High in New Orleans, announcement on Twitter that he will “explore other options.”
KU has four remaining commitments who have been pursued by big programs and will be recruited aggressively by schools trying to pry them from their Kansas commitments before early signing day.
Cornerback Corione Harris and receiver Devonta Jason of Landry-Walker High in New Orleans, running back Anthony Williams from Boutte, Louisiana, and quarterback Clayton Tune of Hebron, Texas, all have SEC offers.
Harris announced on Twitter he would choose between Kansas and Mississippi State. Jason tweeted that former Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullens’ still is recruiting him at his new job at Florida. This might mean nothing, but it’s somewhat interesting that Harris just started following new Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt on Twitter.
LSU, Mississippi State, TCU and UCLA have offered Williams at various stages of his recruitment, per Rivals.
Quarterback Clayton Tune from Hebron, Texas, tweeted that Ole Miss offered him a scholarship.
These are nervous times for college football coaches. The early signing period cranks up the pressure because the guess by most is that the majority of prospects will sign now, rather than wait until February.