Preps Talk

Could the traditional National Signing Day become irrelevant?

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Could the traditional National Signing Day become irrelevant?

National Signing Day is fast approaching. While diehard college football fans along with various media outlets will be following closely, one thing is for certain: This Signing Day has a much different feel compared to years past.

Why?

In case you didn't pay attention (and by the very limited national and regional media coverage and attention, you were not the only one) the Class of 2018 was the first class allowed to ink an early Letter of Intent from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22, well before the traditional first Wednesday in February.

The impact was evident locally as well as nationally. Out of the 250 players from across the country ranked in the Rivals 250, only 67 have yet to sign. In Illinois, 27 of the top 30 recruits and 60 of the top 70 recruits have already signed.

The number of Class of 2018 recruits who took advantage of the early signing period was surprisingly high, with roughly 75 percent of all Division I level recruits signing in December, according to Rivals.com Midwest recruiting expert Josh Helmholdt.

"My numbers show that 75 percent of all three-star ranked or higher names signed early in December," Helmholdt said. "We still have a good handful of high-profile names who will sign on Wednesday. Yet this signing day won't have nearly the same scale or scope of past signing days in February."

With a large majority of the Class of 2018 signed, the month of January has suddenly become one of the hottest recruiting periods for the underclassmen classes. Over the past few weeks we've seen a record number of early scholarships being offered weeks before even the Class of 2018 is officially signed.

"College coaches have more time now to focus on the next class," Helmholdt added. "Coaches are using this evaluation period to get ahead of the next class."

De La Salle's Matt Byrnes participates in the seventh annual Franklin Middle School Dodgeball Tournament

De La Salle's Matt Byrnes participates in the seventh annual Franklin Middle School Dodgeball Tournament

Hey kid...no pressure.

De La Salle junior tight end Matt Byrnes (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) made his first Franklin Middle School Dodgeball tournament appearance earlier this month.

He was also the team’s lone rookie on a team that had won the charity tournament the year before. While the Meteors came up just short in retaining the title a few weeks ago, no one also enjoyed themselves over the past two years more than De La Salle.

Byrnes, who played wide receiver and tight end last fall for the Meteors and head coach Mike Boehm, checks in and recaps his latest recruiting news. He also gives us an early preview of the 2019 De La Salle Meteors.

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with York Tackle Jack Wall

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with York Tackle Jack Wall

York junior offensive tackle prospect Jack Wall (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) is a name that is starting to appear on a few more recruiting radar screens this offseason. 

Wall was part of a team from York Dukes team that took part in the recently held Franklin Middle School Charity Dodgeball Tournament in Wheaton. It was an event that helped raise much needed funds for several charities. 

Wall takes a few minutes to update us on his latest recruiting news; he also gives some early insight on the upcoming Dukes' 2019 season.