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Recruits forced to wait as NCAA extends dead period

Jeremiah Alexander
Jeremiah Alexander (Chad Simmons / Rivals.com)

The NCAA announced Wednesday its decision to push the recruiting dead period through May 31, a crushing blow to some top prospects who were hoping that after April 15 they would be able to take visits and coaches would be able to see them at their schools.

Not going to happen.

And players are hugely disappointed.

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“I don’t feel comfortable making a decision or even narrowing down a real list of schools because I’m not able to meet coaches in person,” four-star offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin said.

“I want to make an informed decision that is best for me and my family and I can’t do that without being able to visit the schools and get a feel for the coaches and the community that I may potentially play in. I feel like the NCAA is taking away our right to have freedom of choice. It’s our future and we should be able to make the decisions with our families if we want to put our own health at risk.”

The Charlestown, Ind., four-star lineman had a big group of schools he wanted to see this spring, too, with Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Oklahoma, Oregon, USC and Arizona State on the list.

Other elite prospects were more blunt in their consternation.

“I’m so upset,” said three-star defensive back Jordan Allen, who wanted to visit Miami, Georgia and Penn State.

“I don’t have anything,” said four-star defensive end and former Alabama commit Jeremiah Alexander. “Very annoyed. They’re killing us athletes.”

The Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson standout wanted to visit USC, Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame and Florida but that seems unlikely now until at least the summer.

Kevin Coleman
Kevin Coleman (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals)

Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU are among the front-runners for five-star offensive tackle Kam Dewberry from Humble (Texas) Atascocita who said it “sucks” that visits are not possible but his decision timeline still stands.

Former Oklahoma State commit and four-star offensive tackle Kelvin Banks said he understands that the NCAA’s intention is to keep all parties safe during a health pandemic but the decision definitely affects his commitment timetable because he doesn’t want to make another pledge and not spend time at the school.

Five-star receiver Kevin Coleman from St. Louis (Mo.) St. Mary’s said Zoom calls have been beneficial but there’s nothing like actually taking visits. And that’s what Coleman, who is looking at Alabama, Oregon and many others, would prefer to do instead of making a rushed choice.

“I just feel ready to get on campus,” Coleman said. “I know a lot about the universities I’m interested in due to the help of Zooms. But it just doesn’t feel the same.

“I want to actually be there physically because it would help the decision be easier as well. Due to them pushing the dead period back, it’s making the recruiting process even harder because you want to go somewhere where you feel comfortable and you can’t get comfortable from a Zoom call.”

The waiting game continues.