(TheBigSpur.com) -- An early signing period for college football recruits is now official.
The Collegiate Commissioners Association announced on Monday that beginning this year, high school football prospects can sign their National Letters of Intent during an early 72-hour window. For the 2018 class, this will begin on Dec. 20 and go through Dec. 22.
If a recruit does not sign during that period, he will follow the normal timeline, which allows the players to begin sending in National Letters of Intent to schools on National Signing Day, which occurs on the first Wednesday of February (Feb. 7, 2018).
The new early period signing also begins on the same day as college football's midyear junior college transfer signing period, according to the National Letter of Intent website.
South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp believes the new early signing period could be helpful for programs in the future.
"I think, from the standpoint of the young men that you know are going to come to South Carolina, it helps," said Muschamp, "because if you don't go see them in January, you always feel like somebody's 'backdooring' you. That'll be good, in my opinion, to be able to work more on the next class. You'll also know in December if a guy's coming to your place or not. So, all those guys that say they're committed but really they just have a reservation, why aren't you signing? So that's a good thing, I think."