What is National Signing Day?

What is National Signing Day?

“A national signing day is a narrative in which, for the first time, a high school senior can sign a binding national letter of intent with a college for collegiate athletics, typically associated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States

All NCAA Division I and II sports have a national signing day, but college football’s national signing day is usually the first Wednesday in February. In college football, recruits had the opportunity to sign with their teams one month ahead of the regular signing period on an extra national signing day that took place in the first week of December until 2017.

What is National Signing Day?


Up until 1981, prospects connected with certain college football conferences, such as the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), may sign on conference and national lines during an early signing day held during the second week of December. During its 1980 convention, the College Football Association, led by a number of well-known college head football coaches, proposed a resolution to do away with the days on which players signed on the conference during their final year and replace them with a single national signing day that would be known as National Signing Day.

If their school was in the Big Eight or Southwest Conferences (later as members of the expanded conference, the Big 12), recruits had to sign on conference and national lines in 1981, the last year for those signing on conference days.

The conference lines were designed to prevent a recruit from signing with more than one school in the league, but they did not prevent them from signing with any other school. The national lines were designed to prevent recruits from signing with more than one NCAA school. The signing was restricted to a single NCAA institution by the national lines regulations.

In January 1981, the National Collegiate Athletic Association issued an edict ending the early signing period and requiring a national signing day to take place on the third Wednesday of February. The first Wednesday in February is usually designated as National Signing Day.

The NCAA Division I Council decided in April 2017 to do away with football’s early signing period, which would take effect for the 2017–18 school year. The next month, the Commissioners Association gave its approval to the new NCAA regulations, which created a new signing time for junior high school athletes that coincided with the first three days of the current early signing period for collegiate athletes.”

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