Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze has unique idea for a new recruiting signing period
MOBILE, Ala. - Count Hugh Freeze among the many FBS coaches who have come to loathe the overlap of the NCAA's transfer portal window and early signing period for recruits on their December calendars. But don't count the new Auburn football coach among his peers who want to see a return of the old format for National Signing Day, which was one signing period that began in early February.
Freeze, for one, isn't keen on that either. He'd like to see high school recruits get on board before transfers begin flooding the roster market.
RECRUITING: Why Auburn football, Hugh Freeze expected to add one player on National Signing Day
LOOKAHEAD: 4 members of Auburn football's 2023 recruiting class who could get on field in year one
"I think the high school coaches would probably say they'd rather have signing day before the portal (window), because I think you'd hurt high school recruiting, truthfully," Freeze told the USA TODAY Network. "If you know you can get a portal guy who has some experience, and he can't transfer again, all those things weigh in your mind as a coach. There are some things with moving it to February that I think could hurt high school recruiting further, and I'm not sure that's the answer. I'm not the expert on it, and I'm sure others have put more thought into it than I have, but those are my initial thoughts."
Wednesday marks the traditional National Signing Day, which opens the second window in which high school recruits can sign with college programs. It was once an unofficial holiday for college football fans as their school's entire signing class inked letters of intent in a single day. But when the NCAA instituted the early signing period in December, recruits flocked to sign early, which has rendered the traditional February signing day as an afterthought. SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey has publicly supported reform of the recruiting calendar. Some coaches want to see the February signing day return as the one and only NSD.
Some, including Freeze, have other ideas.
"I don't know what the correct date is, but I absolutely believe we need to separate the high school signing period from the portal period. I'd be fine with high school kids signing any time from Aug. 1 to the end of November, and they'd have their spots secured, and then the portal opens," Freeze added. "But I don't want to keep trying to recruit both in the same time frame. That's difficult, and we could make it a lot better by doing something different."
Reach Chase Goodbread at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @chasegoodbread.
This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Auburn football coach Hugh Freeze has unique idea for signing period