"The first thing I do when I talk to a commit is try to talk them out of it"
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is one of many coaches that would like to see an early signing period in college football.
"It's ridiculous that we don't have one," Dabo explained. "It's a waste of a lot of peoples time, it's a waste of a lot of money and it creates a lot of the garbage that goes on in recruiting, to be honest with you. A lot of that would be eliminated."
Dabo noted that an early signing period would relieve a lot of headaches for a coaching staff, and also allow recruits to truly enjoy their senior year.
"If a guy is committed, and he's still taking visits, then he's not committed. Now, that's his right, but you can't expect us to hold someone's scholarship for them and be more committed to them than they are to us. That's just the way that I deal with it.
"If you had a signing day in September, or let's say October 1, well if those guys don't sign with you, well then you know that they're not committed. You know then that you better get to work and make sure that we're going to be able to fill our numbers because we can't count on these guys. The flip side of that is that all of those guys that sign with you because they know what they want to do, then they can enjoy their senior year and enjoy the confidence of knowing that they got their scholarship."
Swinney then explained that he tells recruits how he views commitment up front, so that there's no misunderstandings later on.
"I'm sure the coaches cringe every time that they bring a guy in there to me that wants to talk to me about committing. That's why nobody can take a commitment from me, because I am going to have the same conversation with everybody so that nobody can say 'Well we didn't say this or that'."
"If you want to commit, and you're sure that you want to commit, the first thing that I do is try to talk them out of it. And if they are, then I'll ask them some questions and talk about it, and then I define it so we can both agree on a definition so then nobody is mad." Dabo said. "Some people want to call and make a reservation and then call up and cancel it later, that's just not how we operate."
Obviously this strategy won't work for coaches at every level or at every university, but attempting to talk a recruit out of committing to test his commitment is an interesting (and likely very effective) strategy. Swinney and his staff obviously want to get guys that are all on board. His thoughts on an early signing day also make a lot of sense, especially looking at it from the student athletes perspective that would allow them to focus on enjoying their final year of high school.
Hear more from Dabo below.