Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD

Kelly and Notre Dame Approve of Recruiting Changes

April 20, 2017
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College football is likely getting a makeover when it comes to recruiting. The new rules aren’t official just yet, but after the NCAA committee voted, it will likely be finalized in June.

April through June are great months to have early visitors, so we don’t have to rely on just home games. - Brian Kelly
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was for all the changes, and the biggest might be earlier official visits.

The proposals were voted on last week will allow prospects to take official visits during April, May, and June of their junior year.

“I like the fact we can get juniors up here April through June and see our beautiful campus and the great weather we have in South Bend,” said Kelly. “April through June are great months to have early visitors, so we don’t have to rely on just home games. Those are great things from our perspective.”

Midwest programs like Notre Dame, Michigan, and Wisconsin should benefit from getting kids on campus in the spring versus in the colder months of the year.

However, that does come with a price tag, as they will not be able to pay for the to return for a game day or late in the process when kids are signing. There will be crucial decisions made on who and when to get kids to take their official visits.

2019 prospects are already feeling the pressure of the possible accelerated process coming. As of now, kids like 2019 Ohio defensive end Steven Faucheux can really only speak to coaches when he visits a campus.

The three-star prospect has a long list of visits he will make sooner than later to make sure he gets the contact he needs to help form his decision.

“I think a handful of schools will start to stand out for me as I get deeper into the process," explained Faucheux. "It’s a busy plan, but that’s the only way I can get to talk coaches because of NCAA rules.

“The NCAA just shortened it, and I can’t even talk to coaches yet, but I can take official visits in less than a year. I am just trying to feel it out until I find the right fit.”

The other substantial change was voting to approve an early signing period, which will likely be over three days in December. Kelly was once again for the modification, as it will give the programs an idea of where they stand with the recruiting class.

“It’s been pretty clear across the board, everyone has been on board about the early signing period,” stated Kelly. “We feel as though that is a positive thing and I do personally.

“Who knows how that will eventually play out. Will you have all your early commitments signed? We aren’t necessarily counting on that, and some may choose to do that. Everyone that chooses, it allows us another resource to be pointed towards those that are not.”

Regarding Notre Dame, it will allow the staff to focus on uncommitted prospects across the country if committed prospects sign earlier.  

“We are coast to coast,” Kelly said. “We are going from Los Angeles to New Jersey. One less trip for a coach to go coast to coast to focus on a kid that isn’t committed is a resource.”

For the prospects, it’s a fine line. The period in December is a hot zone for coaching changes from the head coach to the primary recruiters moving around. Kids could sign over the three-day period, but then see the coaching staff leave a day later with over a month left in the recruiting cycle.

The other proposals were minor, as the NCAA will no longer allow two-a-day practices and a tenth assistant coach will likely be available to programs starting in January.   

“No doubles, not a big deal,” said Kelly. “I think we had three last year. I’m good with that. You can get plenty of work done in that timeframe.

“We were supportive of the tenth coach as well.”
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