Wednesday is National Signing Day for the class of 2016! What exactly does that mean? It is the first day that current seniors can sign their national letter of intent to the college that they have verbally committed too. They do not have to sign on the first day. It is technically called the early signing period where prospects have one week from November 11 to November 18 to sign their letter of intent before the season starts. Players that have not committed or opt not to sign during this seven day window have to wait until after the season to sign their NLI.
Every player that has verbally committed to a school in the state of Illinois is expected to both ink and fax that letter in on Wednesday or sometime during the next week. This makes their commitment officially binding toward that school.
So what is the big deal? They are just signing a piece of paper that they already said they were going to do. It is the culmination of a long process for prospects that have been recruited some since their freshman year. This symbolizes that their dream of playing college basketball has come true. Many players will have ceremonies at their school throughout the day. It is a very exciting day for prospects along with their families, high school coaches, travel team coaches, and everyone who has supported that player. At PrepHoopsIllinois we enjoy nothing more than seeing prospects in our state make it to the next level. This is a big step in that process!
From the colleges standpoint it is an exciting day as well! They officially know who is the future of their program. There are not many surprises in basketball recruiting during the signing period like in football with “flips” of commitments where a prospect was committed to one school, but signs with another although nationally there are a couple every year. It is relieving though for coaching staffs that have been recruiting these kids for years to make their hard work official. Once a school receives a letter of intent their future coaches can officially comment on that player to the media. Fan bases can get excited about the next generation.
Make sure you check back tomorrow for full coverage of the day and week on PrepHoopsIllinois!