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Early Signing Day – What does it all mean?

By CVGC Staff, 12/18/18, 10:45AM MST


December 19th is the official mark to the 2019 recruiting season with "Early Signing Day".  It allows a portion of  student-athletes to begin making their verbal offers and commitments binding with a signature on a formal contract provided through a program called National Letter of Intent (NLI).  Early Signing Period is only for Division 1.  Regular Signing Period of Division 1 and Division 2 is begins on February 6th.  

Not every school uses the NLI—about 650 NCAA DI and DII schools—and it’s not mandatory to sign. The National Letter of Intent is not affiliated directly with the NCAA; it was created by the Collegiate Commissioners Association to protect both the college and student from either party backing out.

According to NCSA, a college recruiting support website, signing on the dotted line of the National Letter of Intent means three things:

  1. The student-athlete has committed to one year at the university. They do not need to sign an NLI after their first year. The school is required to let student-athletes know if their scholarship is being renewed after the first year.
  2. The university is promising to provide an athletic scholarship for that year. The NLI and financial aid package are two separate documents. The student-athlete will need to sign both.
  3. The student-athlete’s recruiting journey is over as an NLI is a legal, binding contract. No other schools can continue to recruit them.


Early signing period will end on Dec  21st and then resume again in February. 

Here is a great article from our friends at NCSA that explains more about NLI, signing and dates associated with signing periods.