Prospects take to social media, implore NCAA to lift dead period
A new hashtag was sweeping social media on Tuesday evening, started by numerous top prospects in the 2021 and 2022 classes imploring the NCAA to reverse its decision on barring official visits through December.
#LiftTheDeadPeriod started showing up on Twitter as four-star Rivals250 running back Damari Alston, Florida State quarterback commit Luke Altmyer, numerous players from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy and many others tweeting it out.
The post includes a picture of each prospect above the sentence: I believe in making an informed decision that will affect the rest of my life. #LiftTheDeadPeriod.
“It’s important to all recruits,” Alston said. “If we can play football, then I believe recruits can visit campus. My college decision is the most important decision of my life. I need to know where i want to go, so I can proceed to attack this thing called life.”
Many players not only posted it to their social media accounts but also tagged the NCAA Twitter account so it would be recognized there as well.
One of the recruits who followed up with his own post was the No. 1 prospect in the 2022 class, five-star defensive tackle Walter Nolen from Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict, who is considering Tennessee, Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia and many others.
Last week, the NCAA announced that it would extend the dead period in all Division I sports through Jan. 1.
“Luckily, my dad and I were able to visit FSU the day that they started the dead period on March 12,” said Florida State offensive line commit Bryson Estes. “I am committed to FSU, but my mom has never been to Tallahassee or met my future coaches. I am planning on early enrolling and early signing.
“If the dead period doesn’t change, I will be enrolled in college and heading to FSU and my mom would have never met my coaches in person. The dead period needs to end or at the very least consideration needs to be given to guys like me who are early signing. This is the biggest decision and phase of my life and my parents and I need to have the opportunity to get to know my future coaches, my teammates and learn as much about my future school and the town.”
Some players have side-stepped NCAA shutdowns by organizing their own unofficial visits with other commits or prospects considering that particular school. Over the last few weeks, top recruits visited Oklahoma, LSU and Georgia as three of the more high-profile visits, but they could not be organized by that school and the players couldn’t meet the coaches.
Prospects are granted five official visits that are paid for and organized by the school and those have been barred until at least the New Year. However, many recruits are on the path to enrolling early and won’t be allowed to take visits before making a decision.
“It’s extremely important for kids to meet their coaches and see the area they could be moving to, especially if it’s far,” Louisville offensive line commit Zenuae Michalski said. “You also just get to feel out schools.”