Don't look for an early signing date

DESTIN, Fla. -- The idea of an early signing period for football in the SEC has bounced around for the past couple of years.

But several coaches acknowledged Wednesday they don’t see it becoming a reality any time soon, especially in the proposed format.

The coaches don’t want to mix recruiting and coaching during the football season and are for an early signing period, possibly in November or December, only if that prospect hasn’t taken an official visit anywhere.

The athletic directors and presidents didn’t like that idea last year, and it doesn’t sound like much has changed.

“They’re listening. They’re really good about that, but I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt said. “I don’t think it has much legs. There’s still just a lot of talk and different scenarios that need to be worked out.”

LSU coach Les Miles hopes the league can continue exploring an early signing period and come up with a plan that works. But like Nutt, he doesn’t want to get into a situation where you’re trying to juggle official visits and coaching your team in the middle of September and October.

“We’re trying to find a date that fits a dead period without official visits and an opportunity for a guy who always wanted to go to LSU to sign early,” Miles said. “If a guy lives 30 miles away, he doesn’t need to come on official visit. He’s going to come. He’s committed to you. He should have the right to sign his papers and commit to that institution.”

The schools with fewer in-state prospects, specifically Arkansas and Tennessee, are not in favor of an early signing date.