Opting out of High School Football: Is it on the Way?

Changes to college football's early signing period could be moved to June beginning in 2025. And this could have massive ramifications on high school football players deciding whether or not to forego their senior year.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

 College football could soon be switching its early signing period to June According to John Brice with Football Scoop, “Changes are being proposed for college football’s primary signing days, including both a summer and December signing period, as well as likely changes to the NCAA Transfer Portal window’s post-season timeframe.”

When is the early signing period for 2024?

For 2024, the early signing period would open on December 4th and be open through midnight on December 6th. This would mean that every high school senior has concluded their season before making their decision on which school they would like to sign with.

What would change if the early signing period were moved to June?

Moving early signing period to June would mean that athletes are able to sign their national letter of intent before their senior year of high school football even begins. And in the era of NIL (name-image-likeness), we could see athletes opting to sit out their senior year if this June date indeed happens.

As they are already guaranteed as scholarship once they signed their national letter of intent along with any NIL earnings that may come their way once they step foot on a college campus, the risk of players playing their senior year and getting injured becomes even higher.

In years past, aside from an athletic scholarship, you cold not make any money off of endorsement or other related NIL offerings in college. Now that that has changed, this is a main reason you could see players opting out at the high school level.

What are the positives of moving the early signing period to June?

This is advantageous to the soon-to-be high school senior recruits who would be able to make their decision before the transfer portal opens for athletes that are already in college. It in a way could lead to less transfers as well as more scholarships will already be tied up from the incoming freshman class at each school.

A June early signing period would also allow college coaches to focus on coaching their team on the field during the college football playoff that is expanding to 12 teams in 2024. This was an issue during the 2023 season as coaches were having to manage the early signing period which happened in the middle of bowl season and preparing for a bowl game.

When could early signing period be switched to June?

The proposal calls for the period to take effect for the 2026 signing class. It would be a three day window opening on June 25, 2025.

“Sources, including coaches, assistant coaches, general managers and directors of football operations from all four power conferences, indicated to Football Scoop that they expected to see the June signing period adopted upon the measure’s final vote, scheduled to take place next month,” Brice wrote.

Next. How the NIL is Changing College Football. How the NIL is Changing College Football. dark