Starting in the 2018-19 school year, significant updates to the signing period rules are going to speed up the timeline for seniors looking to sign with a school. In the past, there was an early signing period (usually in November) followed by a break over the holidays (dead period) before signing NLIs resumed in the spring during the regular signing period. Starting this year, all athletes outside of football and men’s and women’s D1 basketball players can begin signing scholarships on November 14, 2018 and continue to sign anytime through August 1, 2019.
While much of the recruiting process happens long before November of your senior year, the fact that athletes will be ending their recruiting by signing NLIs earlier means recruiting in the lower divisions will likely speed up as well. In the past, NCAA D2, D3 and NAIA schools would wait for D1 programs to complete their recruiting classes before ramping up their signings. Now that D1 schools will be completing their signings earlier, expect all other division levels to be busy over the holidays and early in 2019 instead of mid to late spring.
Insider tip: If you are a senior in the class of 2019, you have no time to wait. Opportunities are going to fill up even earlier than before. For all underclassman, this should put you on notice to make sure you have a solid recruiting relationship going into your senior year instead of waiting to get started