Just two weeks before it was scheduled to begin, the college football recruiting evaluation period is over, as the NCAA announced Wednesday that it is extending the dead period through May 31.
Initially, when schools began canceling spring practice in an attempt to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the NCAA changed the March quiet period into a dead period, meaning that while coaches were still not allowed to recruit off campus, now recruits were not allowed to visit college campuses. That dead period was set to become an evaluation period on April 15, where coaches were now free to visit recruits at their schools twice during the evaluation period–once as an athletic evaluation and once as an academic evaluation.
Now, the dead period running through May 31 will completely erase the evaluation period, as coaches and players will be unable to see each other in person, on either the college or high school campus, until June.
It’s important that the dead period does not run into June, as that is a huge month for summer camps. As USC is concerned, the Rising Stars Camp is one that typically brings in top prospects from around the country looking to spend time with the Trojans coaches as well as get a feel for the campus.
With the early signing period and official visits able to be taken earlier in the year the past few cycles, June is also a month where USC could host official visitors looking to make commitments before the start of their senior season.
Of course, announcing that the dead period will extend through May 31 doesn’t mean for certain that things will proceed as normal on June 1. The NCAA’s statement finished by saying, “The committees will continue to be guided by experts to determine whether the date needs to be extended.”
Despite the dead period, coaches are still able to contact recruits through social media, text and over the phone. USC was able to land a commitment from four-star running back Brandon Campbell during this extended dead period, and the Trojans continue to recruit well in the 2021 and 2022 classes.
This extension mirrors the one announced by the Pac-12, which said last week that it would extend the suspension of all team activities through at least May 31, moving that deadline from March 29.
USC coaches certainly won’t shy away from the challenge created by this, and defensive line coach Vic So’oto is ready to meet it head on.