We’re into the off-season now, but that doesn’t mean the blog will go dark. While there will be some breaks here and there — and lots of days when there may not be as many entries as during the season — I have plenty of plans for keeping the blog up and running until next fall. One is to get back to regular question-and-answer threads, so feel free to send questions, either to me via e-mail or on blog entries (and specifically right now, on the comments section here as it works best to see them all in one place).
So with that, onto some questions:
Q: It looks like the Huskies will have around 30 verbal commits for next year. I thought the rule was they could not get more than 25 in one year, and no more than 85 at any one time. Will they have to greyshirt or turn some of the verbals away?
A: This is an oft-asked question that I get in one form or another almost every day, so maybe I should develop an FAQ on the blog so it’s always there. But it’s understandable why it gets asked as the recruiting process can be a morass for those who don’t follow it real closely.
So to try to make clear how this works: There is NO LIMIT to how many players a school can sign in any football recruiting class, however, there is a limit to how many players a school can put on scholarship for the first time during any one academic year, called in NCAA parlance initial enrollees. That number for football is 25. Section 15.5.6 of the NCAA Manual spells out the rules for initial enrollees. Schools can sign more than 25 and fit them all in by having some enroll in the spring, thereby counting against the current year if there is room in that class (which for UW there would be due to all the JC guys who didn’t get in), or enroll after the season and count against the following year. And there is a limit of 85 players on scholarship at any one time.
There has been some controversy over the practice of “over-signing” because it can sometimes lead to putting pressure on players to either enroll early or late, or lead to needing to make room on the current roster to fit them all. In fact, there was legislation proposed earlier this year to limit the number of players a school can sign in any year to 28 (read it here). But at this moment, there is no limit to how many can sign, only how many enroll in a given year.
Obviously, the Huskies are counting on some attrition off the current roster to fit in everyone who may sign this year, although the reality is that there is always — for every team in every year — a lot of natural attrition due to guys who flunk out, get hurt, decide they don’t want to play anymore, transfer, etc., that it’s not as if they necessarily have to start kicking guys off the team today. The initial enrollee number doesn’t kick in until games start next September, and so much can happen between now and then that what schools usually do is just assume there will be a little bit of attrition, recruit accordingly, and worry about it later. And any smart coach also makes sure any of the recruits involved who could be impacted knows the drill. These days, with how well publicized the whole process is, I don’t think there are coaches out there anymore offering scholarships to players and taking commitments that they don’t think they’ll be able to fulfill. Certainly, they aren’t signing them. If there are issues, it’s usually sorted out by then.
Q: Are there any Huskies playing in any of the post-season college football all-star games?
A: Official word from the school this week is no. Remember, there weren’t that many seniors to begin with and only a few really on the NFL’s radar — Donald Butler and Daniel Te’o-Nesheim being the only two you really hear talked about much. Maybe one or both of them will land in a game later, but at the moment it hasn’t happened.
Q: Where has Steve Sarkisian been recruiting this week?
A: He said on Tuesday he would spend this week in Washington and Oregon, working primarily on the Class of 2010. So that likely means a lot of visits to a lot of the local players who have committed to UW — touching base, firming up commitments, etc. He said he would spend next week in southern California. A dead period starts Dec. 21 (here’s the recruiting calendar for this year), so the staff will hit it hard this week and next before taking off over the holidays. There are no reports of official visitors this weekend UW having 26 commits already and apparently waiting until January to hit it hard again with visits.