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The Early Signing Period for College Sports Starts Today
Posted November 14, 2012. by Ken Lancaster
NCAA Begins their Early Signing Period
For those senior athletes in the recruiting process, today is a big day! Today marks the beginning of the early signing period for many NCAA sports. That means that recruits who have been offered scholarships or who have verbally committed to a school are allowed to officially sign their National Letter of Intent (NLI). Once athletes sign an NLI, they are committed to that school and have agreed to attend.
The early signing period begins today, November 14, and goes until next Wednesday, November 21. Athletes are given this designated signing period to officially select their school and end their recruiting process. For many recruits, the early signing period is a huge relief since they can make their final decision and end the chaos of the recruiting process. However, this early signing period does not apply to you if you participate in football, field hockey, soccer, track & field, cross country, or men’s water polo. This early signing period is for basketball and all other sports not listed above.
Can You Use the Early Signing Period?
High school senior athletes who have been heavily involved in the recruiting process know from experience the time, effort, and dedication it has taken to be offered a scholarship. There are a couple of benefits to using the early signing period if you are able to:
Ends your recruiting: Once an athlete signs an NLI, they can no longer be recruited by other schools. This means they don’t have to worry about all the work that went into finding a scholarship. They have more time to focus on their senior season and final year in high school.
Secures roster spot: if you sign in the early period, you know that you have a position on a college sports team as early as November of your senior year. You won’t have to worry about your spot being offered and taken by another recruit.
Signing in the fall really caters to the athletes who have been very involved in the recruiting process. That means they have taken their time, done the research, contacted coaches, went on official and unofficial visits, and have been accepted to the colleges of their choice. These are the athletes who are more ready to make such a big decision.
If your recruiting process started late or you haven’t put in the work you should have, you are probably not ready to make a decision in the fall. There should be no rush to sign your NLI if you are not ready to. College coaches put the pressure on their recruits to sign early because it makes their job easier. The sooner they can finalize their roster, then the more they can focus on their current student-athletes. Don’t feel pressured to make a decision if you are not ready. You do run the risk of your scholarship being given to someone else, but you don’t want to make the wrong choice either.
What the Early Signing Period Means to You
If you haven’t had an offer or you are not ready to sign this week, it’s okay. There is another signing period in Spring. Take this time to get involved in the recruiting process: really get to know coaches and their schools; do research, make visits, and ask questions. As a senior, your last chance to secure an available scholarship with a college is the regular signing period, so use your time wisely.
If you have gone through the process as much as you can, and are ready to make your decision, then congrats! Your hard work and dedication to find an opportunity on a college team has paid off. You took control of your recruiting process and earned an athletic scholarship that will allow you to compete and earn a degree. You should be proud! Now you can be relieved of your recruiting process duties and focus on the rest of your senior year.
If you have any questions about the NLI or the early signing period, then leave your comment below and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!
Every athlete must register with NCAA Clearinghouse
College Lacrosse Scholarship Recruiting Basics
There are 290 NCAA men’s lacrosse programs and 335 women’s lacrosse programs at the Division I, II, and III levels in the U.S. Men’s lacrosse offers 12.6 scholarships per team at Division I, 10.8 at Division II, and 20 at NJCAA levels. Women’s lacrosse offers 12 at DI, 9.9 at DII, and 20 at NJCAA. Lacrosse is considered an equivalency sport, so coaches are free to divide the lacrosse scholarships among as many players as they choose. Make sure you are playing for a competitive lacrosse team; good stats won’t mean anything to a college lacrosse coach if it’s for a mediocre-level lacrosse league.
Make your Summer Lacrosse Recruiting Count
Summer is an ideal time to make progress in your recruiting. This means keeping on a training schedule with your team and attending lacrosse camps and showcases. It will be important to contact college coaches before attending camps as well, so they know who they are looking for. Coaches don’t show up at camps and tournaments hoping to find a good prospect. They are there to see an athlete they have already been on contact with. And make sure to do your research before signing up for a camp. The camps need to be high-level competition showcases or good quality instructional camps with college lacrosse coaches involved throughout the duration of camp.
Partial and Full Lacrosse Scholarships
There is more than one way to play for a college team besides earning a “full-ride”. Because lacrosse is an equivalency sport, it is very difficult to earn a full-scholarship. You would have to be top-ranked in the entire country in order to do so. Besides that, there is a much better chance that you will earn a partial lacrosse scholarship or a walk-on spot. The most important thing to remember is that scholarships are granted on a year-to-year basis, not all four years. This means if you are not able to earn a scholarship your freshman year, you could earn one after that for any