Urban Meyer: 'Let recruits decommit 100 times. That's why they're 17 years old'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday September 27, 2016


Urban Meyer is coming off his bye week and an important week for recruiting, and he says the idea of an early signing period is ridiculous.

Some have called for early signing as early as August or September of their senior year. But Meyer says it’s too much pressure, and that decommitments are OK. Ohio State has the No. 1-ranked class right now.

“I'm going to send out a letter. I keep hearing about this early signing period, early access, and let's move everything up and it's, I still can't believe we're having this conversation,” Meyer said this week. “So, we absolutely oppose today. I hear the reasoning is because there's so many decommitments. What the hell does that mean? So because 17-year-olds are decommitting, let's give them a legal document so they can't decommit. That's not very smart.

“Young people have a right to choose where they want to go to school. Period. Let them decommit a hundred times. They're 17 years old, that's why they're called 17-year-olds. So I don't understand whether it's lazy, whether it's — I don't understand why this big push.

“Now they want to have official visits in their junior year. There are some kids that don't even have ACT scores. Their bodies are gaining 18 pounds. Why not move it back to their sophomore year? It's bizarre. You're going to see more transfers and more mistakes made in recruiting than ever if they keep pushing this thing up.”

It’s worth noting that, as a top-tier school, Ohio State benefits from late flips more than it loses them. The SEC has been against early signing, too. On Tuesday, Ohio State QB recruit Danny Clark decommitted, which wasn’t surprising as the Buckeyes got a commitment from Tate Martell in June.

From a coaching perspective, Meyer made the point that decisions based on earlier evaluations are more risky. You don't know how kids can change.

“(If) you make too many mistakes in recruiting, someone else is probably standing up here,” he said. “Same thing with — kid makes a mistake, they just transfer. That's why they transfer. There's some Ivy League study that transfers have never been as high. Some study was done. It might have been other sports. My son's gained 20 pounds in the last six months. Bodies change and the game of football, I want as much time. I want to watch them play their senior year.

“I wish we would move it back. Everybody is talking about moving it forward and having an early signing period — and I heard July, early signing date. That means they're going to be visiting here, some of them, 16 years old. Most 17 years old. Without some of them SAT or ACT score. Doesn't make sense. And if I'm a high school coach, I'm not in favor of that at all either.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.