Norvell: NCAA could discuss altering recruiting calendar

Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 10:21 PM EDT
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March 24, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (247Sports) -- Every football program across the country is adjusting the way it operates amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA enacted a mandatory ‘dead period’ to slow down in-person recruiting through at least April 15. That is one of the complications college coaches like Florida State’s Mike Norvell are trying to work with as they keep their respective programs running.

Norvell, meeting via a video conference with local media on Tuesday, suggested that the NCAA could look at the possibility of altering its recruiting calendar given how the sport has been impacted by the national crisis. The first year of a February dead period coupled with the one put in place earlier this month in response to the pandemic means recruits have far less access to visit colleges as they try to weigh their options.

For some prospects who consider signing during the Early Signing Period (Dec. 16-18), this creates a time crunch with less information to make an informed decision.

“There’s just a lot of moving parts to it,” Norvell said. “I think when we look at what happens with the summer, what that’s going to look like, you know I think there’s some decisions that I think will need to be made big picture from the NCAA on the potential on if we should have an early signing period this year.”

Norvell added: “I would be one that would think with the limited opportunities for guys to visit, I think there might be guys who feel some pressure to sign early with really limited opportunities to go out and see campuses. Not only officially, but unofficially. Those are all things that I know will be discussed. I think we’ll have to do a good job as college football programs, as well as the oversight from the NCAA and what’s best for these kids having to make decisions.”

Norvell also expressed some concern that 2020 signees could have issues completing classes due to limitations as school systems switch to an online-based, remote teaching model.

“Something that you really have to focus on is that there’s some of these kids that don’t have internet at home,” Norvell said. “They might be in a little bit tougher situations. They’re trying to finish up their high school or junior college eligibility, and don’t have the access. You can’t just go down the street to the library because the library are closed. You can’t go to a Starbucks or a place that you would normally go for internet access because those dining areas are shut off as well.

“There’s just a lot of complications that come with it.”

Norvell has challenged his staff to be creative in how it recruits during these uncertain times.

“Obviously with not being able to have anybody on campus or have those unofficial visits, I was really pleased with the guys we’ve been able to get in Tallahassee up through spring practice and through the month of March already,” Norvell said. “With that being eliminated, we’re already doing as much as we can through electronic correspondence, text messages, having guys call us, having guys facetime our staff to get as much as that face-to-face interaction as possible.

“We’re continuing to try to build on the content that we can show kids there online and showcase all aspects of our program. The things that these kids want to see is our staff. They want a chance to be around us. They want a chance to see who we are and what we’re all about. A lot of that I think we’re doing a really nice job of and building those relationships and trying to be unique in the things that we’re doing in building the relationships with these kids.”

FSU currently has the No. 29-ranked class in the 2021 recruiting cycle.

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