Friday, January 12, college football coaches begin a contact period. This contact period lasts through Saturday, February 3.
With the early signing date, last December 20-22, this January’s contact period should be interesting. More so than ever before, junior recruiting, and scoping sophomore and freshman football prospects will be very important. In fact, huge.
The rules below about a contact period apply to the members of the Class of 2018. As you will see in this blog, college football coaches can have no contact with the 2019 Class.
Contact period. The time when a college coach may have in person contact with a prospective student athlete and the prospect’s parents on or off the college’s campus. The coach may also watch the prospective student athlete play a sport, do a workout, or visit his high school. The prospect and the parents may visit a college campus, and the coach may write or telephone during this period.
During a contact period, almost all types of communication are allowed. Included are both unofficial visits and official visits, phone calls, emails, and social media. Senior athletes are allowed off campus visits too, so college coaches are able to make a visit to your home or see you play in a game.
A potential student-athlete and a college coach can legally have conversations and really get a lot accomplished as far as getting information and a feel for the situation.
Underclassmen are by rule not allowed off campus contact by college coaches during this period between January 12, 2018 to February 3, 2018. The “old bump” rule is no longer. But college coaches will say “hi” to an underclassman. Somehow college coaches need to be able to “eyeball” a potential underclassman recruit.
Underclassmen in this blog are the Classes of 2019, 2020, and 2021. By NCAA rule, the college football coaches are not to have contact with the 2019 recruits.
This contact period in January every year is really “junior recruiting.” College coaches will spend take time seeing the underclassmen, not just juniors. This January 12 to February 3, more than ever.
Advice is simple to an underclassmen. 1. Be in school and in class. 2. Dress presentable. 3. Introduce yourself. Say what year you are in school. 4. Listen to the coach. 5. Be sure to thank the college coach.
Really, there is a rule 6. Ask your football coach and your parents not to do chest bumps, because a college coach said “hi” and invited you to camp. Ask them not say that a school is “looking at you,” or that you are “on their radar,” or that you are “on their board.” I know that you will not say it. Not just yet. Social recruiting writers will eat it up.
Rule 7. Sorry, the last one. If you are an underclassman, now is not the time to worry about the overused and overbooked word -“offers.” If you are a 2018 guy and hear the word “offer,” do cartwheels and a lot of “thank you’s.” Super deal. If you are a 2019 guy and hear the word, “offer,” smile and say “thank you.” That offer means very little right now.
Now, the chance meeting with a 2019 prospect is not suppose to happen. But just in case it does, be at your best. First impressions mean a lot. Do not slouch.