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Since the advent of the early signing period for college football in 2017, it has become more and more popular with each recruiting cycle.

Hey, there is a lot of like about the early signing period:

Players like it because if they have already made up their minds, they can go ahead and sign in December and enjoy the rest of their senior year of high school. Some graduate from high school early and enroll in college for the winter semester to get a jump on the competition. The early signing period makes that move easier.

The coaches, for the most part, like the early signing period because, at least for the big boys, it gets about 80 percent of the players locked in. Then coaches can spend the rest of their remaining recruiting time working on key unsigned players and juniors.

The fans like it because they are ga-ga over recruiting and the early period gives them something to follow and trash talk about before bowl season starts.

But as the early signing period begins on Wednesday serious conversations are taking place to move it from its current mid-December spot, perhaps into January.

Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association said Monday that moving the early signing date will be discussed during the AFCA  convention in January. A proposal asking for adjustments to the recruiting calendar will be made at the NCAA Convention .

“We’re still gathering details but we’re going to vote on this issue,” said Berry.

Here’s the problem. When the decision was made to implement an early signing period, there was no transfer portal. And the transfer portal, which basically grants free agency to players to move one time with no penalty, has created a big, big problem on the recruiting calendar for coaches.

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“When they put in the early signing period they really rushed through it,” said a long-time assistant coach who did not want to be identified. “Before the portal you had a pretty good idea about your roster needs before you went recruiting after the season. But with the portal you have no idea what you need and no idea who’s available.”

Example: A head coach is off campus on a recruiting visit. He then gets a call that one of his current players is about to enter the transfer portal.

“What does the head coach do? He cancels the visit, gets on his plane and flies back to campus,” said the veteran coach. “Because of the transfer portal you need more time after the season to take care of your current team.”

“The truth is that most coaches like the early signing period,” said another former SEC coach. “But the creation of the transfer portal on top of it has created a whole bunch of unintended consequences.”

One of those unintended consequences of the early signing day combined with the transfer portal, some have argued, is the accelerated pace at which coaches were fired and hired, especially this season.

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey recently told Brandon Marcello of 247 Sports that memos dating back to 2009 predicted that the implementation of an early signing period might speed up the firing and hiring process in college football.

“Lo and behold here we are,” Sankey told 247 Sports. “So we’ve been engaged in that dialogue for 12 years. “If others are ready to go back and rethink what’s resulted from the current early signing approach, I’m certainly ready to be a part of that dialogue.”

Berry said he believes that the transfer portal has had a greater impact on quick coaching changes than the early signing day. He also said that if the early signing day is moved, early January would be a possible landing spot.

“That would give our coaches a little more time to figure out what their roster is going to look like,” said Berry.

Happy Signing Day.