CHICAGO – If Nebraska coach Bo Pelini had his way, National Signing Day would be a thing of the past. And the result would be an improved recruiting process.
“You’ve made a commitment to a young man to come play in your program, why do we have to wait to any certain day?” Pelini said. “Why don’t we just go ahead and let’s sign on the dotted line, let’s get it over with and move forward.”
That would be a big change from the system in place, where players have to wait until the signing period even if they’ve made an oral commitment. But what if they could sign as soon as they decide on a school?
“I think it would slow down some of the early offers,” Pelini said. “I think it would slow down some of the ridiculous things that go on on both ends, on the institution’s side of things and as far as the recruit’s.”
He used the word “integrity” and mentioning teaching athletes about honoring their commitment and “what it means to be a teammate.”
“There’s a bigger picture involved,” Pelini said. “And I think sometimes the way the recruiting process works is that contradictory to what we’re trying to teach these kids and how we’re trying to develop these kids in the long run to be successful, not only as football players and as athletes, but beyond, as husbands, as fathers, and their professions.”
New ground: The Big Ten expanded its footprint in the east where there’s a large alumni base and big markets by adding Rutgers and Maryland. The way coach Kyle Flood sees it, Rutgers is expanding its footprint, too.
“It’s also opened up some access in the Midwest,” he said.
Settling in: Maryland coach Randy Edsall understands that leaving the ACC after 61 years jolted fans. He thinks they’re coming around to it, though.
“It’s been embraced, and people understand why we did what we did, how it’s going to benefit us for now and into the future,” Edsall said. “I would say that the reaction now moving forward is people are very, very excited about what’s gonna take place starting this fall.”
Maryland opens conference play at Indiana Sept. 27 and gets a big test the following week when Ohio State visits. There are also Big Ten home games against Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers as well as trips to Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan.
He said it: Minnesota coach Jerry Kill when asked what his favorite play on offense is: “a successful one.”