College football coaches have been forced to get creative on the recruiting trail. Apparently, for some, that means adding a little extra pressure to recruits to commit earlier than they previously would.
According to Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, that increased pressure will lead to numerous decommitments with the 2021 recruiting class.
Fitzgerald, who met with reporters on Tuesday, talked about how recruiting has changed as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. The new normal has forced coaches to rely on technology, social media and phone calls to reach out and communicate with potential prospects.
The inability to visit campus and meet with coaches face to face during this time has really altered things from a recruiting perspective. And Fitzgerald believes it’s going to result in several players decommitting when the limitations are eliminated.
“There’s no question that schools are putting more pressure on student athletes,” Fitzgerald said, according to Inside NU. “You are going to see a large number of decommitments when this ends, no doubt.”
So far, Northwestern has done a good job of landing some high-level recruits during this cycle. The Wildcats have 10 prospects committed in the 2021 class, three of which are four-star athletes, according to 247Sports.
Northwestern’s class ranks 44th nationally and 10th in the B1G.
With so many restrictions currently placed on recruiting, several players are committing without visiting campuses or meeting with coaches or players in a face-to-face setting. Once prospects are again allowed to check out campuses and talk with coaches and current players, there will likely be some serious changes in plans before the Early Signing Period arrives.
It could be one of the most interesting recruiting periods in recent memory.