High school recruits have been mostly stuck at home for the last 15 months. Other than the ability to take a self-guided tour of a campus — which is a far cry from the experience of a typical visit — prospects across the nation were left with no choice but to commit to schools without having ever visited beforehand.
Now, that is all history.
The longstanding, COVID-19-induced NCAA recruiting dead period ended at midnight when the calendar turned to June 1 on the east coast. With the dead period officially over, recruits can once again officially or unofficially visit a school in person. Schools can also host camps for the first time since March 2020.
Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, all in-person recruiting activity screeched to a halt. The ensuing dead period had a profound impact on college recruiting — especially in basketball and football. Many 2021 football and basketball recruits were left with no choice but to sign with the school of their choosing without having ever visited their campus or facilities in person. With in-person restrictions in place, coaches and recruits were limited to FaceTime and Zoom calls.
“During a dead period a college coach may not have face-to-face contact with college-bound student-athletes or their parents, and may not watch student-athletes compete or visit their high schools,” the NCAA website says. “Coaches may write and telephone student-athletes or their parents during a dead period.”
The dead period has been over for less than 24 hours, but schools across the country are already taking advantage of the ability to once again have recruits on campus. Florida State hosted a “Midnight Madness” event early Tuesday morning in which some of high school football’s elite recruits flocked to Tallahassee.
HERE WE ARE. #FSU opens the doors to the Moore Athletic Center to recruits for the first time since March of 2020.
Mike Norvell and Kenny Dillingham bringing the juice pic.twitter.com/IbFUS0u4BH
— Zach Blostein (@ZBlostein247) June 1, 2021
Over the next month, schools will host countless recruits for official and unofficial visits. With normalcy now restored in the recruiting world, the industry that never sleeps just got a whole lot busier.