Encroachment! High School Football Players Are Committing Earlier

The top 25 players commit an average of 1 month earlier compared to 2005

USA Today Sports
Jul 24, 2015 at 6:25 PM ET

You ready for some football? High school players sure are.

The top 25 recruits are committing to university programs an average of about one month earlier compared to ten years ago, a Vocativ analysis finds.

This analysis comes just as Nick Bosa, the No. 2-ranked player in the nation according to some experts, committed to play for Ohio State in 2016, and also confirms an anecdotal trend that’s been cited ever since Eric Zeier graduated early from Marietta High School in Georgia in 1991 and committed to the University of Georgia months before National Signing Day.

High school commitments are watched closely by analysts as indicators of college programs’ seasonal chances. Over the last twenty or so years, some high school players, especially elite “five star” players, have been committing earlier—sometimes as much as two or more years before graduating high school. These commitments generally make big headlines, as in the case of top players like Derwin James, who committed, way back in 2012, to attend Florida State in 2015. 

Quarterbacks are generally cited as the first to commit early to programs. But the Vocativ analysis, which is based on commitment date data from popular sports site Rivals.comconfirms that early commitment dates across positions have fluctuated up and down from year to year but have been on an upward trend over the past ten years.