We have started to release our team CFB recruiting rankings and will be formulating a composite ranking that features all major rankings platforms. As we begin to update new top football recruit rankings this week and mull through new data from the start of the 2020 HS football season. I would like to reflect on some major changes to the landscape of CFB recruiting and how it will impact the future for the vast majority of teams in the world of College Football Today. Let's start with the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility for all NCAA student-athletes affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and how athletes who take advantage of the extra year, will not be counted towards the scholarship totals. In the FBS, you are allowed to carry 85 student-athletes on scholarship in any given calendar year. In the FCS, they have the same allotted number of players (85), but only have 63 total scholarships to award to student-athletes. In Division II football, teams are also allowed the same allotted number of players, but many award 36 total full ride scholarships to student-athletes. In many cases, programs will divvy up the scholarship awards to many student-athletes in the form of partial scholarship awards and use the student-athletes FAFSA, as well as academic achievements to get the student-athletes tuition paid for. In the NAIA, they are allowed 24 total full scholarships and also have many other ways to help student-athletes pay for their schooling.
If you play NCAA football this fall and/or next spring, you still will be granted an extra year of eligibility. This could cause many stir-ups among the incoming 2021 recruiting class who were promised early playing time, as I can see many of them now receiving red-shirts. Only 2% of high school athletes receive some type of athletic scholarship nationally, so I wouldn't be too offended in the entirety of the situation. Roster sizes could now potentially be rising into the triple-digits with players from the age of 18 to possibly 26-27 years old. NCAA football programs have also made massive budget cuts due to the Covid-19 pandemic and some programs will elect to not increase their roster size in an effort to reduce costs. For instance, let's say 12 seniors decide to use their extra year of eligibility and the University is under financial constraints. They can elect not to fund an incoming Freshmen's offer and maintain a balanced roster economically. This will not affect many power five programs, but I have already been watching this scenario unfold. I spoke with a mid-major coach the other day who has 8-10 recruits committed in the class of 2021 and he stated they could be full. The reason being was the new waiver and they have many seniors who do not have NFL Draft grades, who most likely will be returning. At a school of their size and given the financial ramifications of Covid-19, it would be nearly impossible to field a roster of over 100 players on full scholarships. With that being said, this rule is outstanding for the student-athletes affected, but the trickle down effect could see many players in the transfer portal and/or de-committing and heading to a school that can fund their athletic scholarship.
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