All-Decade: What to expect in recruiting over next 10 years
The 2010s are coming to an end. As part of the 10-day Rivals All-Decade series, we ask our recruiting analysts what they expect the biggest changes to be in recruiting over the next 10 years.
RIVALS ALL-DECADE FOOTBALL: The All-Decade Team | Top QBs | Top RBs | Top WRs/TEs | Top OL | Top DT | Top DE | Biggest flips | Programs trending up, down | Biggest busts | Ranking the No. 1s | Crazy recruiting storylines in 2010 | Ten coaches that will impact next 10 years | Comparing team rankings | Five programs set to emerge as recruiting powers in 2020s
RIVALS ALL-DECADE BASKETBALL: Best recruiters | Most exciting prospects | Dynamic duos | All-2010s team | The 10 biggest rankings misses | Coaches who will emerge in next decade | Best recruiters in 2020s | Ranking our No. 1 players from each year | Biggest headlines in recruiting 10 years ago
Rob Cassidy (Florida): We'll eventually do away with National Signing Day, allowing prospects to sign any time they want during their senior years. Also, we're headed for all sorts of player compensation rules, which will change things in a hurry. These players that generate so much revenue need to be paid more than a scholarship and it's nice to see the sport trending in that direction.
Mike Farrell (National): My assumption is that there will be many rule changes over the next decade allowing for a lot more contact with prospects for coaches. Offers will be coming in earlier and we’ll have our first fifth-grade offer. And there will be some new social media platform that allows players to control the process themselves but it will backfire on many of them.
Adam Friedman (Mid-Atlantic): Hopefully the NCAA will have made the recruiting process easier for players and their parents to navigate. The powerhouse programs of today will still be considered the best head coaching jobs out there. The College Football Playoff will expand to at least eight teams, too.
Adam Gorney (National/West Coast): I don't see any dramatic shifts like high school players getting paid for their name and likeness, that won't happen until they get to college, but I've seen two significant shifts over the last decade that should only snowball into the next 10 years. First, people outside of the high school coach will continue to exert significant influence on the recruitment of players. This will inevitably mean college coaches, assistants and recruiting coordinators will have to develop strong relationships with these people – whether it be 7on7 coaches, trainers or whomever – to convince players to commit to their schools. Secondly, players have taken much more control of the message in their recruitment. Through social media, they announce visits, new offers and commitments. The job of the reporter has changed from breaking news to reacting to that news and telling fans what that commitment or visit means. It's made the job much more interesting and challenging at the same time. Those two changes should carry over even more in the years to come.
Josh Helmholdt (Midwest): As college programs learn to better utilize the Transfer Portal, I project significantly fewer scholarships handed out to high school prospects as colleges opt to use their initial qualifier spots on more proven players. High school prospects will have fewer options and increasingly find themselves signing with lower-tier programs, having to prove themselves at the college level first so they can climb to higher tiers via the transfer portal.
Chad Simmons (Southeast): The biggest change over the last decade is the Early Signing Period. Looking ahead, we will see that tweaked again, maybe sooner than later. If I had to predict one major change 10 years from now, I see the first opportunity players can sign will be even earlier. I see it being an option prior to the senior season kicks off for the student-athletes. Does that come in the near future or is it many years down the road? I do see it changing though. The timing is not great right now for either party involved, so this is a change I see happening.
Sam Spiegelman (Texas/Louisiana): Think about it — Twitter was just a baby 10 years ago. Now, it’s the driving force of recruiting when it comes to how college coaches contact recruits, how they communicate and how recruits broadcast their offers, decisions, etc. It would be way too naive to say that something as monumental as Twitter could come along in the next 10 years and alter the course of recruiting as we know it today, but I imagine that there will be ... something? A new way to contact coaches or recruits; a new database to find and evaluate talent or perhaps a change to how and when recruits can sign with their respective teams.
Woody Wommack (Southeast): The biggest change will be how schools have to pitch off-field marketing opportunities to recruits. With players likely to make money off of their name and likeness, the next decade will change how schools market themselves and players as a way to appeal to recruits.