For something referred to as a “dead” period, this thing has an extended lifetime. There’s probably a clear “The Neverending Story” quip to make about this immortal dead period, too.
The NCAA gave more life to the current dead period on Wednesday evening. Football recruits will not be allowed to visit a campus and meet face-to-face with the coaches at a school of interest for another six weeks.
The dead period now extends until May 31, 2021.
— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) February 17, 2021
This is not a laughing matter, though. This is serious for the class of 2022, 2023 and beyond.
The last time that recruits got a chance to visit a college campus and interact face-to-face with a coaching staff was back during the first week of March in 2020.
That was after the whole month of February of 2020 was also a dead period. Prior to that, a few high-level Class of 2022 targets also got to take visits on “Junior Day” type events in January of 2020. That was so long ago it was when the Class of 2020 had still not finished its recruiting process.
How big is the dead period? It will have lasted 15 consecutive months. The Class of 2022 was set to be able to take its official visits in April under the previous recruiting calendar. If they do get to visit schools again on June 1, it will mean they will have just seven months to visit schools again prior to the early signing period in December.
The news drew a smattering of reaction on Wednesday from some high-profile recruits and targets in the 2022 and 2023 recruiting classes.
All-American TE target Oscar Delp is one of the most well-spoken recruits in the 2022 cycle. Especially among those that hold a high interest in playing for Georgia. Delp was a prospect who saw his recruiting really catch fire with the first few games of his junior season.
He has yet to experience what it is like to be a featured recruit on campus. Delp recently dropped his list of top 13 schools. There are some very heavy hitters in there with schools like Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford and USC in his top group.
He’s been to games at a few of those places like Clemson and Georgia, among others. But not as a hosted recruit.
“It really saddens me,” Delp said. “This is a lifelong decision and it can’t be made over Zoom calls. I really hope the NCAA can come to their senses and open something up just so we can see these schools in person.
Delp addressed the issue in a calm and collected manner. But he’s not the only one affected. His mother, Mary, shared a parent’s side of the issue.
Beyond tough. HORRIBLE NEWS!!! Physically ill over this…
— Mary Delp (@MaryDelp12) February 18, 2021
That’s a parent’s side of what this delay means. Everyone wants to provide their children with the information and discovery to make a well-vetted decision. Derrik T. Allen, the father of Georgia DB target Marcus Allen, has already been down this road before with his oldest son.
Derrik Allen was an All-American. He signed with Notre Dame and has since transferred to Georgia Tech. The process of finding the right fit was hard enough even with the unlimited unofficial visits from the model in place before COVID-19.
So D1 coaches can’t get out to evaluate kids in person as HS teams have spring football practice and kids & parents can’t go to D1 practices to evaluate teams as these college teams go through spring practice 🤬🤬
— Derrik Allen (@CoachdAllen) February 17, 2021
I simply wish @NCAA or anyone could explain to me how has it been okay for D2 and D3 schools to still have visits? Why is it just an extended dead period for D1? There has to be something I’m missing otherwise this makes no sense. @NicoleAuerbach https://t.co/41wobzu6V0
— Derrik Allen (@CoachdAllen) February 17, 2021
That’s what every parent in every recruiting cycle has sought out with these life-shaping decisions.
That was not possible for the majority of the class of 2021. The same feeling now lingers for the Class of 2022. Check out a few more perspectives from some of Georgia’s top targeted recruits in the 2022 class.
How are we suppose to commit if we can’t visit campus with football staff or talk to coaches face to face (with mask of course)? #relationships
— Daniel Martin (@Mr_DanielMartin) February 18, 2021
It doesn’t make sense how we are supposed to be able to make a LIFE LONG decision when we can’t even go see any of the campuses and coaches in person. Us athletes need this…
— Jake Pope (@JakePope24) February 18, 2021
Mykel Williams joined the “Before the Hedges” program on DawgNation’s streaming platforms on Wednesday night. He ranks as the No. 2 priority prospect on the weekly “Top Targets” list for that show.
The All-American D-line target was visibly frustrated after the news broke on early Wednesday evening.
“When I first heard it, I was really upset,” he told DawgNation on “Hedges” on Wednesday night.
He was thinking of modifying his announced March 15 commitment decision to a simple top 5 release. That was because he was hopeful that visits would return in April. Or even earlier.
Now, he sounds ready to just go on with his decision on March 15.
“I’m just going to go ahead and go through it,” he said. “Can’t go visit noways now. It is just a waste of time.”
What is the biggest thing he is missing right now as he evaluates Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU and Southern Cal?
“The feel of the city and the feel of the campus itself,’ Williams said. “I’m missing that. A lot. I haven’t really – outside of a game- I have never really visited Georgia. I’ve never done a photoshoot or any of that. I’ve never done that with any of the other schools either.”
Check out his full interview with Dawgnation below.
There are a lot of other feelings there about it. DawgNation was able to reach out to a host of top targets for the Bulldogs in 2022 about it.
“I’m upset about it,” Jordan “Lockdown” Allen said.
Allen, an impressive 2022 cornerback prospect, now plans to sit tight and wait until June to progress further with his recruiting. His response to the new dead period timeline is to just be patient.
Jalon Walker, an Under Armour All-American LB, has Georgia among his top six schools. He’s a three-sport athlete in North Carolina. Walker is also the son of a college head coach at the Division II level.
“It’s not fair to all the recruits at all,” Walker said. “We need this time to go visit these programs to help make the best decision for us and attend the right university. I’m fortunate enough I got to see three of my six schools before COVID-19 hit and with self visits with my family.”
He’s not sure how this affects his timeline. That’s significant given that Walker is one of the most outgoing and purposeful recruits we will see in any recruiting cycle. This young man has known he wanted to be an orthodontist after his playing career is over about as long as he’s been deemed a legit college prospect, if not longer.
Walker thrives on preparation. He’s built his recruiting process around getting ahead of this so he was not going to have a rushed decision.
“It doesn’t back up what I was planning to do,” Walker said. “I am still thinking and talking to my family and possibly waiting until the summertime.”
The news wasn’t a major hardship for All-American DT prospect Christen Miller. That’s because Miller – just like Mykel Williams – is scheduled to make his commitment prior to the previous timeline of April 15 with the dead period.
Jordan James, a 4-star RB from Tennessee, is also disappointed by this week’s news. He said it pretty much spoiled the day for him.
“Oh for sure,” he said. “Because I was looking forward to getting to some of those schools that I haven’t been to yet. Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma and schools like that.”
James has only visited Alabama and Tennessee up to this point, but that was never as a priority recruit in the current cycle. It is a totally different feeling to show up on campus as a recruit, even as a priority RB target, when your cycle is still not the current signing class.
What does this mean now to James? Hurry up and wait?
“It doesn’t really mean that much because my commitment was probably going to be around the May area anyways,” he said. “But I just want to get on campus and see those schools.”
(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)
- Christen Miller: All-American DT talks ‘Dawgs, his top 5 and the faith in his decision
- Tyre West: Prized DT commitment hints at a potentially dominant D-line class in 2022
- Mykel Williams: Priority DL is down to a few schools leading up to March 15 decision
- Amarius Mims: The legacy he left behind on Georgia high school football
- WATCH: 2021 signee Dylan Fairchild wins the 7A state heavyweight wrestling title
- Dylan Fairchild, the 5-second pin and his quest to repeat as a state wrestling champion
- Terrence Edwards breaks down Adonai Mitchell in the DawgNation film room
- Tre’Quon Fegans: Why Georgia feels like “home” for the top 100 overall prospect
- Georgia football: DawgNation’s ultimate 2021 class yearbook
- Big Bear Alexander: When you know this 5-star’s real story, you will be proud
- De’Nylon Morrissette: Gunner Stockton to UGA changes up his outlook considerably
- WATCH: Gunner Stockton’s feet are planted long term; Says he’ll graduate from UGA
- Gunner Stockton: The must-read stories to know on Georgia’s new 5-star QB commit
- BREAKING: Gunner Stockton makes his final decision to commit to UGA
- Oscar Delp: Georgia continues its all-out blitz recruiting for its No. 1 TE target for 2022
- Malaki Starks: How does the Charlton Warren news affect the priority 5-star ATH?
- Mykel Williams: State’s top-rated junior DL prospect ramps up his decision timeline
- Kojo Antwi: Speedy in-state WR is a huge name to know in the 2022 class