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How the New Football Recruiting Calendar Could Impact One Top Prospect

This story by Steve Jones about 5-star defensive tackle recruit Matt Elam is ostensibly about the 262 recruiting letters he received from Notre Dame on one day, to go along with the 182 he received from Kentucky in July. But in a throwaway note at the end, we can see how the new football recruiting calendar is affecting Elam’s recruitment:

[Elam] took an official visit to Notre Dame last month and attended its game against Southern California. He is planning to visit UK during the Wildcats’ big recruiting weekend of Dec. 14, although Alabama would like him to visit then, too.

Why is Elam’s choice of Alabama or Kentucky for a visit on December 14 so important? Because it’s his last chance to visit before his planned commitment on January 4. Before last month’s change to the football recruiting calendar, Elam would have had an additional weekend to visit schools, as the contact and quiet period (during which visits are still allowed) would have extended through December 22. Now to visit all three schools he will have to cram in another visit before the middle of December or push back his commitment since December 16 is the beginning of a month-long dead period.

It is a bit ironic for Alabama if Elam chooses to visit Kentucky. The rule change was intended to keep schools who were not in bowl games, like Kentucky this year, from recruiting while schools that were in bowl games, like Alabama, had to focus on preparing for another game. If Elam sticks by his current plans, it will be Alabama that misses out on the last chance to make an impression.

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