My how times are a changin’. More and more, the top college football programs in the country are getting top recruits into school in the spring as early enrollees, which gives the prospects a head start at acclimating into the football program without having to wait for the fall to get started.
The so-called Bowl Championship Series conferences plus football independent Notre Dame report that as many as 162 players had completed their high school requirements and left school early and enrolled in college in time to participate in spring f0otball practice, according to information obtained by USA Today.
That is the highest number, USA Today says, since the publication began tracking this data in 2002. According to the report, the Big 12 had 18 recruits enrolled early and competiting in spring practice activities, led by West Virginia with five. The number of early enrollees at Big 12 schools, however, is considerably fewer than the number reported by the Southeastern Conference.
Forty-three of the 162 new recruits who are already enrolled in schools at the automatic-qualifier conferences are in the SEC, and 10 of those are at Georgia. Florida reported six, and two-time defending champion Alabama and LSU had five each.
Oklahoma, Texas and TCU each have three of their new first-year recuiters already in school, Iowa State has two and Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech each have one.
Also ahead of the Big 12 in terms of football early enrollees are the Big Ten with 31 and the Atlantic Coast Conference with 30. The Pac-12 had 18, and schools in the former Big East reported 14. Notre Dame had five early enrollees.