• Jason

The Wait is Over

Here we go, the Dead Period is ending.

In a much anticipated announcement, and one I honestly thought would go another way. The NCAA announced that ALL Sports would continue with their normal recruiting calendars on June 1st. Effectively ending the dead period that lasted over a year.

June 1st through the 3rd will still be a Quiet Period and the actual contact period will begin June 4th, with college coaches being able to recruit in-person. I have already had countless conversations with college coaches that are looking to get out to Texas to watch practice, work camps and watch some of the local tournaments. Many coaches immediately booked their flights for AAU's in Orlando and USAV Nationals in Vegas in June and July. The first two weeks of June are going to be a little crazy I would imagine.

For a majority of schools, they will be focused on the 2023 class, figuring out who they need to plan on calling June 15th; the first day that coaches can reach out directly to athletes in that class. The "COVID Year" of eligibility has made it drastically difficult for the 2022 class. Fewer and fewer scholarships are available and the same goes for roster spots in general. With athletes already committed and upperclassmen using their "super-senior" year they have available, rosters are growing past the point that coaches really want them to. Several schools I have talked to will have 20+ athletes on their roster in 2022 if everyone stays.

And while many athletes in the 2023 class will exhale because college coaches will be around their court once again, now is not the time to relax. Many coaches are planning on evaluating athletes that are already on their list, or that have contacted them individually. With June 15th quickly approaching, coaches will have to account for the interest level of athletes along with their skill and athletic development. Coaches will spend far less time (I believe) on walking around and marking NEW athletes or adding them to their list. The unknown about whether or not that athlete is interested in their school could potentially keep them further down the list if that school already has a group they know are interested.

The transfer portal also should raise some concerns for the 2023 class and beyond. Instead of grabbing a young and unproven athlete, coaches can go to the portal and get someone that is older and has the college playing experience they need. The transfer portal isn't going away anytime soon. With athletes having an extra year of eligibility to play college ball, we will easily see an influx of transfer activity for the next several years.

The other factor we didn't see very much of this past year but will probably see at the end of this fall is the coaching carousel. There were not a lot of head coaching positions open this year and the majority of those that were are from coaches that legitimately retired from coaching or went on to pursue other things. But this fall I would expect ADs will make that decision to "go in another direction" (although for some schools, it's just the same direction with a different staff) and look to hire a new coach. That will create de-committments and more athletes on the portal.

Yes, the 2023 class and those still uncommitted should do the work they need to do to put themselves in front of college coaches, but take your time and make the best decision based on overall FIT. Don't go play at a P5 school just because "you can". Those schools aren't always the best fit. Do the work now, so that you don't go into the portal later and risk not being able to play some where else. Get to know the coaching staff, get to know the school and figure out if it's really a situation you want to be in for the next 4 years.

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