Pac-12 coaches weigh in on early signing day

Stanford head football coach David Shaw talks to the press during the second day of the PAC-12 football media days at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Hollywood on Thursday, July 27, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

HOLLYWOOD – National Signing Day holds honor, pageantry and a whole lot of relief for high school football players.

But what happens when another signing period is added?

In early May, the Collegiate Commissioners Association voted to add the days of December 20, 21 and 22 as a signing period to the previous date of the first Wednesday in February.

Head coaches at Pac-12 Media Days on Thursday sided both for and against the new rule.

Oregon coach Willie Taggart approves of the new system, but didn’t necessarily have a problem with the old one.

“You’ve just got to go out and compete and recruit until you can get them all there,” Taggart said. “But if early signing day is going to make things better and make the game better, I’m all for that too. At the end of the day, you’ve got to recruit, recruit, recruit and get guys to come into your system, the right guys.”

If a player has second thoughts in December and decides not to sign, they can still wait until February.

Stanford coach David Shaw believes the more time teenagers have to make a decision, the better.

“No one can tell me some of these guys still aren’t going to change their minds between December and February,” Shaw said.

“My thing has always been, let’s let the process be as long as it can be and let’s give these guys and their families as much time as possible to make a decision and leave a late date to where they can sign.”

Now, with players able to sign sooner, coaches have to be more proactive in their recruiting, said USC coach Clay Helton.

For some players, the opportunity to visit and sign sooner just makes the process easier.

“There are some kids that just know they want to be Trojans,” Helton said. “They’re done with the recruiting process. They want to end it and they’re not making any more visits and they’re 100 percent sure that’s what they want to do, and they can end their process, which is nice for them.”

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