The wait is finally over as the inaugural early signing period begins this morning.
Under new NCAA rules, football players can take advantage of the early signing period today to make their commitment binding with a prospective school.
Those that don’t sign during the three-day period, which ends Friday, will have to wait to the traditional National Signing Day in February to sign their letter-of-intent to a college.
According to recruiting analyst, the early signing period is expected to help schools protect their signing class from other programs trying to flip them to sign with them.
A large number of players signing with major programs will go ahead and get the signing out of the way before the upcoming holidays.
Locally, about three players are expected to sign on today. Alexander safety Aaron Casey will sign with Indiana this morning while Douglas County linebacker Braelen Oliver will sign with Big Ten Conference rival Minnesota.
Both have been committed to their schools before the state of the football season.
Chapel Hill wide receiver Tyre Shelton will sign with Miami-Ohio. He has been committed to the Mid-American Conference sign May.
“I’m ready to sign and get it over with,” Shelton said. “I’ve visited the school and created a good relationship with most of the coaches and some of the players up there.”
He said Georgia Southern, which recently changed head coaches, had tried to come in late in the process, but Shelton remained committed.
“I just told them that I was real solid in my commitment,” said Shelton, who named to the All-Region 5-AAAA first team.
He switched from his running back position to wide receiver this year to prepare for his college position.
Oliver, who recently joined the school’s basketball team, said he is ready to get the signing over so he can enjoyed his Christmas holiday and concentrate on school and basketball.
Over the last month, Oliver’s recruiting has really picked up with several FSB schools starting to recruit him.
“Some coaches were still trying to get me to flip to their school,” he said. “I’m just ready to get this signing over with and start enjoying the rest of my high school time. There are some pros and cons about signing early, but I definitely think it is a good thing.”
Said Casey: ““I’ve had my mind made up since the summer, and I’m ready to sign. I’m excited and glad it’s almost here.”
Oliver will sign at his home this morning with Casey signing at Alexander.
“For colleges, they are hoping to get everybody signed and start focusing on next year’s class,” said Scout.com football staff writer Matthew Weaver. “Outside of picking your spouse, this is the biggest decision most will make in their life. Most schools have been trying to hold on to their recruits for the last seven to eight months.”