By MaxPreps Contributor Matt Wixon
National signing day has come and gone, but the recruiting process really never ends. Now it's on to the Class of 2012, and three of the Dallas-area's top juniors gave their oral commitments over the weekend.
DeSoto (De Soto, Texas) offensive lineman Curtis Riser, Bishop Dunne (Dallas) defensive tackle Alex Norman and Ryan (Denton) linebacker Alex De La Torre all pledged to be Texas Longhorns after their trip to the school's junior day.
Of course, with a year until they can sign a letter of intent, those commitments might change. But for players who are truly 100 percent committed, an early signing period for football could allow them to avoid the distractions of the recruiting process.
The American Football Coaches Association cited that when it proposed an early-signing period, which would've allowed players to sign letters of intent two months before the current signing day in February. The proposal was rejected by NCAA conference commissioners two years ago, but an early-signing period is still discussed. Some have suggested a very early signing period -- in August before a recruit's senior year.
An early-signing period would ease a lot of frustration for college coaches who must continue recruiting kids who have orally committed. But would an early-signing period be better for athletes, too?
Some Dallas-area high school coaches don't think so. Many said the reason so many athletes don't follow through on their oral commitments is because they are asked to choose a school before they have enough time to weigh the decision.
"Schools tell them, ‘we're almost full, you better commit now,'" said Mesquite Horn coach Rodney Webb, who had four players sign with major programs two weeks ago.
"There's just so much pressure each year to make up your mind earlier and earlier," Frisco Centennial coach Mark Howard added, "and they can be life-changing decisions."
Matt Wixon is the high school sports columnist for The Dallas Morning News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mattwixon. Photo by Jamie Harms