Once again we are inching closer to the day where prospective student athletes get to commit to the school of their choice. We call it National Signing Day (NSD). There are numerous rules and regulations that each school must go by, therefore giving the appearance of an even playing field.
Understanding all of these rules and regulations is critical to the overall health of any college football program. Consider that each school annually loses a group of players, and those numbers must be replenished. Just like losing blood, when your body loses a certain amount, it needs to have an infusion of additional blood. Hence the repeated statement I have made, that recruiting is the lifeblood of all collegiate sports. Every year there must be an infusion of new athletes, to keep the program alive.
The last 15 years has seen an explosion of web based information on this infusion of new talent, and of course confusion of the actual rules that each school must go by. Do not believe everything you read, when it comes to recruiting. Especially if you or a loved one is actually being recruited. Seek the authoritative source on this subject, the NCAA. Speaking of which, the new enforcement and penalty rules are yet to be accepted, but will probably look like this.
In addition to following the principles of fairness, accountability and process integrity, flexibility is one of the key things the new model is designed to address as there are currently only two categories of violations: major and secondary. The new model would have four levels (most egregious, serious, secondary, minor) with the Committee on Infractions taking into account various mitigating or aggravating factors that would then help determine penalties.
Now that we have covered that, let's move on to just how many athletes each FBS school can recruit in relation to it's football program. The maximum number of scholarship athletes each school is allowed to have is 85. That is a hard and fast rule.
The maximum that each SEC school is allowed to sign each year is 25. In Auburn's case, there is room for more than 25 under the 85 cap limit, last season there was even more room. A new rule enacted by the SEC prevented Auburn from filling the ranks last season, making it more difficult to compete on an even keel with the other schools in the conference. Under Coach Chizik, each season has seen a number of walk-on athletes receive scholarship offers. These are seen as rewards for the student athlete for the dedicated hard work they have done. How this will effect those signing numbers, I honestly do not know.
As fans we noticed the lack of depth, and the youth movement that plagued the Tigers in 2011. Part of the reason for the youth movement can be attributed to the poor recruiting under the final years of Tommy Tubberville. The other can be directly related to the limit of annual recruits Auburn can sign.
My belief is that the 85 number should be the guiding rule to go by, although the SEC has seen to limit the actual number allowed annually, to try and prevent, or at least subdue a practice known as "Greyshirting".
Basically a grayshirt is when an athlete delays his enrollment at his future college so that his eligibility clock will not start ticking until he arrives on campus during the second semester of the year.
posted from the article by Recruiting 101
Trying to figure out exactly how many recruits Auburn needs to fill the roster is our mission here. My best guess is that Auburn will sign 25, and try to have room for all of them by the August deadline. Also remember that NSD is the first day that a recruit can sign his commitment letter. The student athlete prospect is not required to sign any letter of intent on NSD.
I would also like to take this time to remind each of you, that we will be here all day for the NSD event, with a live thread, complete with coffee and doughnuts.