Paul Johnson’s proposal for signing periods may be gaining momentum

It may not qualify as a dream for Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, but he has long advocated for a somewhat radical, if logical, policy for signing high-school prospects to letters of intent.

Johnson’s idea has been to not limit prospects to a signing period. He has proposed that if a recruit is ready to sign with a school, then he should be able to sign on the spot. From Johnson’s perspective, it would create transparency in the recruiting process, helping prevent coaches from pulling scholarship offers and prospects from committing to schools only to back off when a preferable offer comes along. It would also free coaches from having to “babysit” prospects who have committed and fend off rival coaches from poaching their committed players.

At the ACC spring meetings Tuesday, Johnson said that “there may be some legs” for his suggestion.

“I think there may be a window for it maybe,” he said.

At the meetings, conference football coaches were given a handful of topics to discuss and report back, including an early signing period. Last June, conference commissioners tabled a vote on a proposal that would have opened a three-day signing period in December.

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ACC coaches have been in favor of an August signing period.

Perhaps the ensuing step is Johnson’s plan. Johnson said that there was support for it not just among ACC coaches.

“I think overall, the (Division I football) oversight committee may have an appetite for it in some form,” he said.

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