Sign now, or sign later?
A few area standouts have made their decision, opting to take advantage of a newly-instituted December signing period.
The Conway trio of offensive linemen Gunner Britton and Raiqwon O’Neal, along with wideout Juwan Moody signed their respective National Letter of Intent (NLI) on Wednesday.
Britton is on his way to Western Kentucky, O’Neal to Rutgers while Moody will attend East Carolina.
“(I loved) just the atmosphere of it,” said Britton. “I love the Kentucky area and everything, and the campus is just beautiful. Everybody is really nice, and it felt good.
“... I just went ahead and signed because I was graduating early anyway, and I’m enrolling early ... so why wait?,” Britton said.
North Myrtle Beach all-purpose man Tyler Gore also signed with Georgia State on Wednesday.
Previously, the group would have waited until February to make their plans official. But under the new early signing period for football — lasting Wednesday through Friday — players can officially end their recruitment through a few swift strokes of the pen.
While some ask if the added signing period was necessary, others see it as a positive.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Myrtle Beach football coach Mickey Wilson. “With the craziness that happens in recruiting, it allows players to stabilize their decision.”
Up through the past week or so, players fielded in-house visits and calls from coaches and scouts alike. Some even took to the road for a final on-campus visit.
None of the local early signees were swayed by schools trying to flip them last-minute, sticking with commitments made to themselves, their families and the schools.
“Sometimes, you know,” Gore said. “Georgia State felt like home. It just seemed to be a perfect fit for me and my future.”
It isn’t mandatory for players to take advantage of the early signing period. If opting to wait, they can sign on with their school of choice in February — when National Signing Day activities customarily take place.
“For the colleges I think it matters,” Conway interim football coach Carlton Terry said. “They get to go ahead and sign some of the guys and they get to report in January. Guys are graduating early and going to college so they can get spring practice under their belts.
“For the athletes that do a great job in the classroom, ones that are prepared and ones that really know where they are going, it’s a good thing to go ahead and sign, and get that pressure behind them.”
The Conway head man said it also provides college coaching staffs an opportunity to give their recruiting boards another look.
“You have some coaching staffs that are new or in transition, others are trying to are new to certain roles,” he said. “And they may have been looking at someone when they were at another school, and think it’s worth it to check back in with a certain player. A lot of schools I think are going to find diamonds in the rough that way.”