Major changes were made to the landscape of college football recruiting on Monday when the Collegiate Commissioners Association passed legislation creating an early signing period for high school prospects.
It is a change Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell has been a proponent of for quite some time.
“I really like when the signing period is going to be late in December, which I think will really allow, I think it helps kids in a lot of ways,” Campbell told KXNO’s Sports Fanatics on Tuesday. “Does it help us, does it hurt us, I think at the end of it, you know, it’ll just change recruiting in some way in the month of December then, obviously, into January. I think what it does is it, that was my thinking of it from always being a proponent of this happening is number one it allows, we know how much coaching changes for college football. I think it allows that to settle itself out by that time. I think it gives kids an opportunity where if they really have a vested interest in their commitment to a school and that’s where they want to go they do not have to go through the rat race of what January can look like and feel like for a lot of these kids. I think it’s really a good to great benefit for young kids and I think it’s a great benefit for the schools. There’s a point in time where as accelerated as it is you get to the month of January and it almost feels a little bit outdated. You’re going to kind of see these guys for three weeks and it kind of gets monotonous. At times, it always felt like a little bit of a waste of money. I do think there’s certainly some positives. Will it change the dynamic of recruiting? You know, sure. I think it’s going to, you’re going to know where you stand with recruits, especially young people who are committed to your program. It really makes it clearer where you stand by the time you get to the month of December, especially with the young kids’ family. Will there be some that will wait? Maybe there will and it will cause you to continue to work and finish in recruiting like you always do, but I think it will clear the picture for a lot of people. “
The new rule changes will also allow high school players to start taking official visits on April 1 of their junior years. Moving up official visits, as well as the new early signing period, will speed up a recruiting cycle that has gotten faster and faster in the past several years.
“To be honest the recruiting cycle has sped up so much that I almost feel like this month, this last month and a half is where so sped up that’s it’s crazy,” Campbell said. “Unfortunately, they don’t let head football coaches go on the road this time of year, which will be interesting to see if that eventually changes, but there’s only two weeks when you get done with those conference championship games, there’s about two weeks of full recruiting and what used to be the junior college signing period is now going to equal the junior college and the high school signing period. I think it goes back to what we’ve always talked about and what you’ve heard me talk about a lot, it’s about relationships. It’s about developing those relationships for now and a few years for a lot of kids where that relationship goes in the fold that how much different, how much crazier can it get during those two weeks in December. I mean, you can only see them once. You can only see them once during that time frame and as a university you can only see a young man once per week. I really don’t know how much crazier it can be.”
Campbell was also asked to address the comments made by Iowa offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz on last week’s Hawk Central program when he called out the Iowa State coaching staff’s recruiting tactics and their use of early scholarship offers.
After it was clarified to Campbell which Ferentz made the comments, he didn’t seem to have much interest in taking direct shots back at the Hawkeyes.
“I don’t take much into what he said, because I don’t really worry about those things,” Campbell said. “I really don’t know so much about what they do or how they do things. I think from the time we’ve got here we’ve worried about Iowa State and how do we get this program to where we want to be. Certainly, starting to get the right players in this program and to get this program to where we want to be and, ultimately, that’s the opportunity to go win Big 12 championships. I think that part, and time will tell, with the success we’ve had in recruiting, but I do think that’s the one thing we’ve been able to do in our last two years is really change the roster that what our 105-man roster going into fall camp looks like and feels like. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. I really don’t worry about what other people have to say. That’s their prerogative, but obviously my concern is Iowa State and Iowa State football and making sure we get the right guys here to go win Big 12 championships.”
You can hear the interview in full when the podcast from Tuesday’s episode of KXNO Sports Fanatics is posted at kxno.com.