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Jumbo Package: Recruiting takes center stage in preparation for tomorrow’s inaugural Early Signing Day

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Alabama is one team impacted by a possibly chaotic ESD transition

NCAA Football: Alabama at Auburn
Saban hates himself some ESD.
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
  • After a long fight to enact it, tomorrow is College Football’s first Early Signing Day. We’ve previously covered how most teams are going to handle ESD — They’re going to treat this as the primary signing period. But, as Andy Staples writes, that’s not the only change that ESD will have on the recruiting landscape: Here’s who wins and loses, and how the rules work for the new era of ‘crootin.
  • ESPN is predicting (hoping) that tomorrow’s inaugural ESD will be chaotic. What? Three weeks after the regular season, right after finals and grades, a few days before Christmas, and in the midst of bowl and playoff preparation? What could possibly go wrong?
  • One player Alabama will not be inking tomorrow is consummate tease Jaycee Horn. Horn was originally a Tennessee commit, but opened his recruiting back up after the tire fire enveloped Knoxville. It was thought Alabama might get back in the mix, as the the Tide was originally a finalist. But, the draw of home keeps Joe Horn’s kid in the East at South Carolina.
  • TEASER I: Later this morning we have an ESD ‘17 what-to-look for piece. Ordinarily, we have gone all out for NSD. But, that has been with the benefit of months of prep, testing the weather, and so forth. Those of you who recall RBR’s older coverage will be pleasantly surprised: we’re going back to the future — open thread, links of prior write-ups and commits, and on-the-fly editorializing. We’ll do retrospective pieces after the fact rather than rehash what you’ve already read.
  • One guy we know who hates ESD: Nick Saban:

Two things happen: I see more players getting pressured by some schools to sign early so that they don't get an opportunity from maybe a bigger school later, which I don't think is in the player's best interest," Saban said. "A guy may have an opportunity to go to a place he's always wanted to go to or maybe a SEC school when he's getting pressured by another place to sign early.

Heisman voters used to be allowed to do this only a few short years ago. During the season, websites and newspapers would take straw polls of Heisman voters to find out where things stood. There'd be stories written about the results, and it kept people talking about the award all season long. The Heisman then mandated its voters stopped doing this. The reasoning behind it was that it spoiled the outcome, and drama was desired.

Well, there hasn't been much drama in the Silent Age of Heisman Voting, but even if there had been, I think the rule is a disservice to the award.

We have a lot on tap today. So, dig in, and go forth to evil.