NCAA

Pass or fail? Mixed emotions surround NCAA's new early signing period

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Pass or fail? Mixed emotions surround NCAA's new early signing period

John Ivlow could easily add traffic patrol officer to his resume. Or a navigator, perhaps. The Bolingbrook head football coach is very popular and in demand with college recruiters --especially this time of year-- just as much as any other coach in Chicagoland. Ivlow is also never shy about sharing his opinion when it comes to various high school football topics, and that includes recruiting.

But in regards to the upcoming --and inaugural-- NCAA football early signing period, which begins on Dec. 20, Ivlow is taking more of a patient approach.

"I'm a bit indifferent about it," Ivlow said. "It's still too early to tell what the impact will be and like a lot of coaches I'm watching it all pretty closely."

Ivlow has two seniors expected to eventually sign FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) scholarships: DT Dashaun Mallory and WR I'Shawn Stewart. He also has a half-dozen other seniors who will play at the FCS/D-2/NAIA level. He expects to see some potentially serious fallout after the early signing period ends on Dec. 23.

"I know of several FBS schools who are taking the approach that if a kid is not going to sign in December, then they aren't really committed and they will pull that scholarship offer," according to Ivlow. "I think the large majority of kids who are now verbally committed will sign in December just because they don't want to lose out. If kids who are now committed don't sign, they are taking a big risk. Waiting could hurt."

Ivlow's concerns are more with kids who are fringe FBS-level recruits who could turn down scholarship monies from FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) or D-2 level schools in search of spots that could open up after the December signing period at the FBS level.

"Some kids and parents think that the bigger schools will have a lot of spots open up. But I just don't see a lot of kids not signing at the FBS level. I would be surprised to see several kids not sign early and those kids who waited for that spot to open up could end up being hurt. In some cases that's a very expensive gamble and those kids and parents would leave a lot of scholarship money on the table."

One thing seems to be certain starting on Dec. 20: expect the recruiting clock to, once again, be pushed ahead to an even earlier start. 

"I can see the FBS schools using the January recruiting period to focus strictly on the 2019 class even harder than ever."

So will January become the new May? 

Stay tuned. 
 

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 6 Marist

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 6 Marist

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Marist

Head coach: Ron Dawczak

How they fared in 2016: 8-2 (7-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field and lost to New Trier in opening-round action.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 7 Lake Zurich]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Brother Rice

Sept. 1 @ Mishawaka, Indiana

Sept. 8 vs. Carmel

Sept. 15 @ Marian Central Catholic

Sept. 22 @ Marian Catholic

Sept. 28 vs. St. Patrick

Oct. 6 vs. Nazareth Academy

Oct. 13 @ Benet Academy

Oct. 20 vs. Joliet Catholic

Biggest storyline: Can the Redhawks win big with a sudden head coaching change in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior TE TJ Ivy (West Virginia), senior DL Gavin McCabe (Indiana), senior DT Elijah Teague (Minnesota)

Biggest holes to fill: The Redhawks will need to reload at a few key spots this summer, including quarterback.

EDGY's early take: While any sudden head coaching change can be an issue, having longtime assistant coach Dawczak take over for Pat Dunne should be a smooth transition. The Redhawks have a ton of talent back in 2017, and remain one of the better offenses in Chicagoland. The schedule is never easy for the Redhawks, including its annual rivalry game in Week 1 hosting Brother Rice, but this team looks to have the makings of being capable of a big run this fall. 

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 7 Lake Zurich

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 7 Lake Zurich

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Lake Zurich

Head coach: Luke Mertens

Assistant coaches: Shane Williams, Aaron Towne, Jeff Bartlett, Nick Summers, Rick Erickson, Kelly Henkel, Will Koukal, Aaron Lewandowski, Christian Wollard 

How they fared in 2016: 8-3 (6-1 North Suburban Conference), made the Class 7A state playoff field. They defeated Harlem, then lost to Fenwick in second-round action.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 8 Waubonsie Valley]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 @ Fremd

Sept. 1 vs. Montini Catholic

Sept. 8 vs. Waukegan

Sept. 15 vs. Zion-Benton

Sept. 22 @ Warren Township

Sept. 28 @ Lake Forest

Oct. 6 @ Stevenson

Oct. 13 vs. Libertyville

Oct. 20 @ Mundelein

Biggest storyline: Can the Bears put last year's hazing controversy behind them and stay focused on the field?

Names to watch this season: senior LB Jack Sanborn (Wisconsin), senior QB Evan Lewandowski, senior OL Ian Fitzgerald

Biggest holes to fill: The Bears will need to find some replacements in the secondary.

EDGY's early take: Lake Zurich has been dealing with a hazing controversy since the end of last season. Over that time, several key administrators and coaches were replaced, including head coach Dave Proffitt. Mertens, who guided the Lakes football program for over a decade, steps in as head coach. He inherits a very experienced team on both sides of the football, including 14 returning starters (eight offense, six defense). Lake Zurich has the potential to become a state title contender in 2017.