There was a time when signing day was the be-all, end-all of recruiting. Prospects would gather with their families on the first Wednesday in February of their senior year, and they would sign on the dotted line with the program of their choice.
Often times the student-athlete had given his pledge to a college program months in advance, but some would wait to make their choice known on signing day. Eventually, college coaches began to push prospects to make their decisions earlier, often asking for a commitment during an official visit. And through the last decade the recruiting calendar has continued to accelerate. Those once-pivotal official visits now often are spent simply catching up with commitments who arrive for one last free trip to campus.
The process is showing no signs of slowing down.