Early Signing Day, Midyear Enrollment and Graduation

Did you do your homework? Did you watch the “Commitment videos” on YouTube? Are you starting to hear the buzz from your athlete about who is going where? Better yet, are you seeing it in the news feed of  your new Twitter account?

For the sake of timing, I decided it would be good to talk about Early Signing Day, Mid-year enrollment and Graduation. ‘Tis the season.

First, let me explain what signing day is and what is being signed. National Signing day is the day your athlete will sign their NLI (National Letter of Intent). This is their commitment to attend the college they verbally committed to (we will get into verbal commitments later). The actual NLI is signed electronically usually on a phone or iPad using your finger or a stylus the morning of signing day. You will be overnighted a paper copy to sign at the table (this is just for show) on NSD (National Signing Day) and a keepsake for you. You can sign early but that does NOT mean you have to enroll early. National Early Signing Day  was just introduced last year. It worked out well for both coaches and athletes. Here is why: Coaches were able to fill most (if not all) of their roster spots on early signing day which means they were done recruiting for that class. Same for the athletes; they could sign, their commitment would be locked in and they could enroll early or finish their senior year with peace of mind.

National Early Signing Day: 12/19/18 – 12/21/18
National Signing Day: 2/6/19 – 4/1/19

Which brings me to my next point: Mid-year Enrollment
If you made a Twitter account then you have seen the term “Mid-year ”. I know what you are thinking, “What the heck is a Mid-year and what does it mean?” Mid-year enrollment is something you would have been planning before (or at the latest) at the beginning of senior year (sorry moms of seniors). You will need to get with your school counselor during junior year to make sure you are on track to enroll early in college. How is this possible, you ask? Usually the second semester of your senior year you will only need two or three classes. You can take these classes online during first semester so that when the semester ends in December you will have completed your high school requirements and can enroll in winter term in college.
For Example: You would be taking 1st semester of English 4 in class and 2nd semester of English 4 online AT THE SAME TIME.
It is a lot, I know…deep breaths.

Benefits of enrolling early: Your athlete will be a semester ahead of everyone in his graduating class, he will be able to attend winter conditioning and he is eligible to participate in spring football/Spring Game ( this is a HUGE advantage over other incoming freshman in his class)
Drawbacks of enrolling early: Your athlete may miss senior prom and mom may be sad sooner (Or happy. No judgement here).

One of my favorite coaches we met during recruiting told us “2nd Semester of your senior year is the biggest waste or your time”. What he meant by that: You are the best on your team so no one is pushing you in the weight room (that is if they even know what they are doing in the weight room) and you only have a couple classes so you have a lot of idle time on your hands to get into trouble. In most cases, it is in your athlete’s best interest to get on campus, get into the routine of workouts and classes and start building relationships with his new teammates.

But what about graduation?

Good news! Your athlete can come home for graduation and walk the stage with his class. Keep in mind you will have to get him home and back to school and possibly transportation back to campus. During recruiting, schools will tell you they will fly him home for graduation. This is false. It is, in fact an NCAA violation. So plan on the expense.
I know what you are thinking mom, I’m sure there is a lump in your throat at the thought of him leaving even a moment sooner. Breathe… Cry… Do whatever you need to do. Then pull yourself together and really think about what is best for your son. Then talk it out with him and his counselor, coaches and recruiters and come up with a plan (We will talk about the emotional aspect of this later). Just know,  I could not even say the words “Mid-year enrolling” without bursting into tears (seriously EVERY time. I was an embarrassment).

Lastly, your athlete may not sign on NSD and he may not enroll early. Do not be pressured by “looking good” on NSD or enrolling when you’re not ready or it’s not the right fit. It is OK to sign later within the signing dates and enroll in fall classes. DON’T PANIC. One of the biggest decisions of his life is where he will go to college. Make sure it feels right.

Hang in there Momma, we will get through this together. As always bring on the questions, I’m here to help.

Vocabulary to know: 

 National Early Signing Day- 12/19/18 – 12/21/18
NSD- National Signing day- 2/6/19 – 4/1/19
NLI- National Letter of Intent
Mid-Year Enrollee- Enrolling in college as a freshman to start winter term (January) rather than waiting until fall (August/September).

Links:
http://www.nationalletter.org/signingDates/

So your son wants to play college football…

Welcome to the only blog by a single mom on this topic. I only know this because while I was going through the process with my son I looked everywhere for a guide. They don’t exist. So instead I was left asking for information from coaches and “friends” who usually had their own agenda when giving me advice. With that being said, I’m here to give all the tricks and tips to the process that I learned the hard way. I will do my best to tell you everything I learned and am still learning.

My name is Nicole and my son has just finished his first full year of college. He enrolled in January of 2018 and was highly recruited out of high school with 38 D-1 (division 1) full scholarship offers to play football. It all started with his first “offer” as a sophomore; And if your son is like mine he’s watched his older teammates get “offers” and talk to coaches for the last couple years and he’s ready for his turn. He’s watched the commitment videos on YouTube, he’s seen schools chosen out of “3 hats at the table”  and he’s ready for his chance. (If you have free time look up “commitment videos” on YouTube. They are pretty elaborate.)

Let me first explain what an “offer” is: Usually a college coach will contact your athlete’s high school coach (because they are not allowed to contact the athlete directly due to NCAA rules. We will get more in depth with this later) and extend a scholarship offer to your athlete. This is a very exciting time. However keep your cool Mom. I need you to have your Spidey senses on full alert as the offers start to roll in.

First things first: Get yourself a Twitter account. This is how you will keep abreast on all recruiting news. Follow any or all coaches, schools and recruits that you know of. This way you will get updated on whats going on with recruiting. This is especially helpful to keep track of how many commits in each position the school already has and how many they offer. How will you know who they offered? Trust me, Kids love to post their offers.

Keep in mind Twitter is not like Facebook or Instagram. Twitter is your new recruiting tool. Think of this as “All business”. No pics of the kids or your breakfast. This is solely to tweet your athlete’s Hudl link (Hudl is the site the athletes use to edit their highlights and send to coaches) keep up to date on schools and recruiting and to communicate with coaches through DM’s (Direct messages. Like messenger on Facebook) You, your athlete and his coach are his only promoters. It will be up to you guys to post his highlights and send them to coaches. This is how he will get exposure. Gone are the old days of sending out VHS tapes.

Second, get familiar with the NCAA rules on contact during recruiting. You will need to know the difference between a dead period (no contact), quiet period (no face to face contact), official visits, unofficial visits and “bump intos”. If your athlete breaks the rules he could risk losing his NCAA eligibility.

Third, STAY CALM. This is a huge time for you and your son. Take your time, do your research and enjoy the ride. The most important thing you can do right now is get prepared for the overwhelming time and attention the recruiting process takes. You want to make an informed decision and even then you still might not get it right. It’s all perfect, you and your athlete will learn and grow through this process. Everything is going to be fine.

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I think I’ve given you enough research for our first encounter. Please comment or contact me with any and every question.

We single moms have to stick together and I’m here to help.

 

Links:

http://www.ncaa.org

http://hudl.com

 

VOCABULARY TO KNOW:

D-1: Division 1

Offer: Full scholarship offer

DM’s: Direct Message

HUDL: Site used to edit highlights.