HARRISBURG, Pa. — Three players in the 2017 recruiting class committed to Penn State after Christmas and before National Signing Day. The 2018 class will be the first with the new NCAA-approved early signing period.
Penn State coach James Franklin addressed the new wrinkle in college football recruiting Tuesday, which will allow players to sign national letters of intent from Dec. 20-22, ahead of the typical National Signing Day in early February.
“I don’t think it is going to change a whole lot,” Franklin said. “I think that is going to become the signing date. If I had to guess, 75 to 85 percent of the guys are going to sign on the first date. There will be some things that are still kind of sitting out there.
“I think the one positive is you might not be in a situation where you get surprised on [the second] signing day. You might get surprised on the first signing day and still have time to kind of recover for the second one with a few weeks left.”
There has been plenty of speculation about how the new rule will affect the recruiting process. Penn State had most of its 2017 class wrapped up before when this early signing period would have happened in December.
The Nittany Lions did have one player, linebacker Dylan Rivers, de-commit late in the process on Jan. 22. They didn’t take long to replace him, adding a commitment from linebacker Ellis Brooks eight days later.
Penn State already has 13 commitments in the 2018 class, which is No. 2 in the nation in the 247Sports composite rankings behind Miami.
“I think there’s going to be unforeseen consequences that come with this,” Franklin said. “That was kind of my concern all along, but I don’t think it will be as significant as people think.”