Coaches across college football are preparing for the first Early Signing Day including Justin Fuente and his staff. In many ways, there aren't a lot of things that will be different, but this Signing Day does have the potential to take away much of the stress that coaches have had in the past during the last dead period before the February Signing Day.
Fuente and Bud Foster were recently asked about their approach to the Early Signing Day headlined by this response on Fuente's expectations.
As Justin Fuente said, he expects his current class of commits to sign during the December 20th-22nd Signing Day period with any recruit that doesn't sign showing that they aren't really committed.
These comments may seem harsh, but this is the approach that just about every coach will likely take at this Signing Day (at least this year). However, the fact that Fuente is willing to say something like that may be a sign that he expects most, if not all, of his current commits to sign this month.
Fuente isn't only just making big statements like this, but he's also going out and visiting his commits and remaining targets, something that is normal this time of year but still important.
Fuente told us today that he and his staff have been "just recruiting" this week outside of Bud Foster and Brad Cornelsen who returned late Wednesday night to do some bowl prep according to Foster.
The Early Signing Day will also take much of the stress that can come in the final weeks from other schools looking to circle in. Fuente is definitely in that group of coaches who will be breathing easier after December 22nd.
The dead period before the February Signing Day had always been a tricky thing for recruiting nerves, but having this Signing Day should remove many of those nerves. This Early Signing Day is also why we've seen so many college football programs look to make quick decisions on hiring coaches knowing that they need at least a head coach in place before this Signing Day or else their recruiting class is likely to suffer significantly.
Despite all of this, it's still very much business as usual for the Hokies. Bud Foster said it himself that things are "not necessarily" different while Justin Fuente said he didn't really have any idea if the new Signing Day would impact his schedule too much.
With the dead period still being in place starting right before the Early Signing Day, Virginia Tech's coaching staff has been busy on the recruiting trail as they usually would be.
The gap between the end of the regular season and dead period has always been a popular time for power 5 coaches to hit the trail and recruit, only coming back on the weekends to run a few practices. While the Early Signing Day may be changing the urgency to send out some offers to recruits, it hasn't changed the chaos of in-home and school visits that have always had VT coaches going all over the East Coast from Massachusetts to Florida.
There's a lot we don't know about how the Early Signing Day will truly impact college football recruiting, but one thing that is clear is that Justin Fuente will be breathing easier than normal after it.
Of course, that's only if all of his current commits sign as he expects them to. If not, Fuente may not get the stress relief he was hoping to get.
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