By Otis Kirk
Chad Morris obviously and understandably has a different opinion of two signing periods instead of just the one on the first Wednesday each February.
Morris only added four recruits this past Wednesday, but that came after he had 22, counting SMU Grad Transfer Ben Hicks, sign in December. Morris and his staff will continue to monitor the market to possibly still add up to three more signees in the Class of 2019.
Last year, Morris had to hit the ground running in recruiting when he was hired from SMU. Morris wasn’t excited about the early signing period at that time. However, fast forward a year and Morris has completely changed his opinion of it. He was asked Wednesday about the two signing periods.
“Now that we’ve been able to go through it for a year, a year ago it was awful,” Morris said. “A year into it, it has been very productive. Now, the month of December was incredibly difficult. I think we logged somewhere around 40- or 41,000 air miles. It’s what I’ve been over the last month, month and-a-half, however long we’ve been recruiting.
“The month of December is really tough. You’re doing nine in-home visits in a week. You figure that out and you’re eating just about every one of those home visits. Sometimes there’s two meals in the same night within a couple of hours, and you eat all you can. You have to. You better, anyway.”
But the long days and nights in December make it easier in January according to Morris.
“But a lot of work on the front end,” Morris said. “A lot of exhausting nights on the front end, but when you get through that December signing period, which is now the regular signing period. This is the late period. What it allowed us to do the month of January is to really focus on our area schools, spending time in our state. We’re going to hit every school in this state at some point within the year.
“So, it allowed us to do that. It allowed us to really dive into 2020 recruiting, 2021 recruiting and just start putting our board together. Then it allowed me as a head coach to get out into schools and not feel as rushed to get into a home visit at night.”
This was all a similar message that Morris had said when asked on Dec. 19 about the early signing period.
“Now that I’ve gone through it for the first time and been stationary through an entire cycle to where you’re able to build a relationship and focus on the kids that you’re targeting, I like it.” Morris said. “It allows us in the month of January, we’ve got nine spots thereabouts that we’ll be going and seeing, target areas for the 2019 class, but it will be nothing like going and trying to target 29. It’ll allow us to get a jump start on spring recruiting with the 2020s and 2021s. We were on the phone with, I bet we’ve talked to 40-45 of them already today, the 2020s, and letting them know that a year from right now is their day.”
The Hogs have gotten a headstart on 2020 and beyond recruiting. They have had two Prospect Days already and will have a third on Sunday. The Prospect Days are for students in the 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes.
The March 9 Prospect Day will be like an all-star group of recruits on campus. It will feature some of the top recruits in the nation from Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee and other states. It’s a day when some commitments will likely happen.