It might finally be over as the summer approaches. The NCAA recruiting dead period, which was continually extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is soon to end according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.
Previously, Bucknuts reported in February that the period would be extended through May. During the dead period, there is no face to face contact with coaches and recruits.
According to Dodd, the dead period finally has an end date.
“The NCAA Council this week is expected to set an end date of June 1 for the long-standing recruiting dead period, multiple sources told CBS Sports,” Dodd wrote. “The dead period was imposed in March 2020 after COVID-19 shut down college sports. It was extended eight times over the past year as the global pandemic raged, the last time in February.
“With widespread distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, it has become easier to envision more in-person contact, including football camps and official visits, beginning in June. For more than a year, college football coaches have been able to do little more in recruiting than hold Zoom calls with prospects.”
The COVID-19 pandemic altered recruiting in a major way over the last year. After cementing the highest-ranked class in history, Nick Saban joined 247Sports’ Josh Pate and explained how it altered the 2021 signing class and will alter the 2022 recruiting cycle.
“We always go through a process of trying to get guys here that fit what we want from a criteria standpoint at each position, whether it’s size, speed, character, all those things,” Saban said. “Early on last year, sometimes we go through a process. Sometimes we want to complete that process. Even though we’re in on a lot of good players, it took a little more time. We were waiting to go out and see spring practice, in some cases, when this all happened last March.
“Then when we didn’t have the opportunity to do that, we just moved forward on the guys that we knew the most about. We knew quite a bit about lots of players last year. This year is going to be a different challenge because we don’t know as much about the players coming up next year.”
It seems like a possibility that coaching staffs will continue to integrate Zoom meetings with prospects into their recruiting arsenals even after the pandemic has passed, but there’s no way to effectively replace in-person evaluations.
“Everyone has become efficient at Zoom,” Florida coach Dan Mullen said, via CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd. “I’m great talking to the kids and all that. The coaches leaving campus, maybe you don’t even go on the road recruiting anymore [in the future]. You can do it on Zoom. You can talk and have these conversations.