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Monday, March 31, 2014
Early Offer: Coaches debate Edsall’s idea

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Monday's offerings: Maryland coach Randy Edsall raised eyebrows last week when he called for reform of the recruiting process by delaying scholarship offers to prospects, and his ideas were met with praise and criticism from his peers; A&M and Baylor landed big commitments over the weekend.

Edsall’s ideas meets mixed reviews
Edsall told ESPN.com’s Adam Rittenberg he believes scholarship offers to football prospects shouldn’t be extended until Sept. 1 of a prospect's senior year in high school. Plus, he suggested any offers would come from admissions or financial aid offices, not football coaches. Under Edsall’s plan, offers of scholarships or any other financial aid wouldn't come until after a prospect's junior-year transcripts and ACT and SAT test scores are reviewed. His thoughts were met with a lot of praise but just as many questions with the 10 coaches I visited with about the topic over the weekend.

“The process has become out of control,” one Big 12 assistant said. “Everybody hates having to offer freshmen, sophomore and even eighth graders in some cases, but you have to at this point to keep up with everybody else. But I would certainly welcome a change to make things to how they were before early recruiting changed the game.” An ACC assistant agreed. “I support an early signing period for juniors, and if we can’t get that, then this would be the next best thing,” he said.

The four SEC assistants I visited with all disliked Edsall’s plan. All four cited their success with early recruiting and said the amount of offers extended to young players is minuscule compared to junior and senior recruiting. “It also punishes those that are good at it,” one said. “It’s a game. You don’t change the rules just because some people aren’t good at it.”

Big weekend for A&M, Baylor
Texas A&M and Baylor scored major commitments this past weekend, helping continue to push the Aggies and Bears’ momentum in the Lone Star State. Baylor came away with the biggest prize when it landed ESPN Junior 300 standout running back Ja'Mycal Hasty, the No. 8 running back in the country.

Hasty selected the Bears over offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Oregon, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State and Houston. Most observers believe Hasty is a perfect fit for the Baylor offense, and he’s the highest-ranked running back to commit to a Big 12 school in this cycle. 

Across the state, A&M added a pledge from 2016 offensive tackle Patrick Hudson, a 6-foot-5, 330-pound prospect from Silsbee, Texas. The Aggies have dominated offensive line recruiting recently in the Lone Star State, and the addition of Hudson perpetuates that for future classes.