College football’s transfer portal has created a “chaos” that’s left many high schoolers in limbo

Detroit — The state quarterfinals saw a hard-fought 113-yard battle against the mighty Brother Rice. In the semifinals, he had an onslaught of six touchdowns with three rushes, two receives and one 95-yard return. In his game for the title against Muskegon, there were 207 rushing yards and his two TDs.

Sterling Anderson Jr. helped Detroit King High School win the Michigan state championship last month, scoring 15 touchdowns in the state playoffs alone. Even though King’s starter often sat after the first quarter of games early in the season, it was part of a nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards, 21 TD season.

Anderson, a senior running back/slot receiver/return man, stands just 5 feet 8 inches tall and, like King’s teammate and Oregon state quarterback Dante, is one of the elite five-stars. I didn’t expect college to flock to him like he was a star recruit. Moore.

Still, it’s an elusive, hard-charging runner that kids can really play with.

Yet with National Signing Day approaching a week from now, Anderson is still waiting for the division I offer. He’s one of hundreds of equally talented players — DI talent with no DI options — in college football’s currently crowded and disorganized he’s on the fringes of December’s schedule. increase.

Father Sterling Anderson Sr.

Blame the transfer portal. I blame the coaching carousel. Blame it for lack of leadership or foresight, but this is the reality. The sport is now cramming couples into free agency (Portal), draft (national signing day), postseason (bowl starts Friday) and coaching carousel (23 of the sport’s 131 programs have new head coaches). I’m about to-week stretch.

It’s not that DI recruiters think Anderson isn’t good enough. “What an absolute stud,” said one Central American conference assistant. “His athleticism is unbelievable,” said another.

It’s just that not a single coach is sure what their needs are because of the transfer portal.

Are their returned backs leaving? are they staying? If they have a vacancy, should they offer Anderson, or could they go after an older, more established, major running back who might want to move, for example? Huh? Anderson is going to be a good college player, but the experienced 22-year-old might already be a good college player.

We’re left with high school football full of Sterling Andersons who don’t expect Alabama to call but think someone needs to.

“It’s a mess right now,” said Anderson Sr.

Detroit King High School’s Sterling Anderson Jr. breaks an 80-yard touchdown run in the Michigan State Championship game against Muskegon. (Huddle)

College football needs a calendar adjustment because the current system is not good for anyone – coaches, players, recruits – and will only make matters worse going forward.

The solution is not simple and not all-encompassing, but the easiest is to do away with the December early signing date (December 21st this year) and move the traditional signing date to February 1st. It is to return from the day to the middle of the month. March too.

Sports need time for things to settle down. To establish a roster, we need to clarify. Head coaches and assistant coaches are needed to move to new jobs. Midwestern assistants claiming to be recruiting are suddenly recruited on the West Coast with different priorities.

Also, new recruits and their families should have a better idea of ​​where they would be best suited and which schools really want them.

Now, coaches are looking to select a 1,000-player transfer portal to plug holes in their teams while preventing unexpected departures that could change plans. “It’s chaos,” said the Big Ten offensive coordinator. “Every day, every hour, something new.”

Still, it’s the current calendar that’s helping feed the transfer portal for the future.

Some cannot move rationally. It takes time to find a new school from the end of the season to the start of the spring semester. And the coach always changes jobs in December. The wheels of capitalism never stop.

It’s a high school recruitment calendar that can be moved to help almost everyone.

The elite program wants to lock in elite recruits as quickly as possible, but that benefit is quickly outweighed by the circus of portals and the uncertainty of who can make an offer and when.

Many major programs make part of their roster available for transfers rather than offering high school recruits.Michigan has only 10 pledges. Ole Miss and UCLA are just 12. Historically, all programs signed about 25 prep players.

Each of these schools has a large waiting list of high school students, and if they don’t like what they’re getting from the portal, we can offer 10-15 kids over the next week. It is a series of processes that influence programs further down the food chain.

If a Big Ten school says he might take him to a recruit, that recruit probably won’t commit to the coveted MAC school. Take someone else who is desperate for them.

“Early signing dates are subject to Transfer Portal because we have to have scholarships for Transfer Portal kids,” Anderson Sr. said. I don’t know.”

Perhaps the only tangible impact of removing the early sign-up period will be to affect the small number of high school students who graduate early so they can rush to prepare for college in January. However, you do not have to sign an agreement to start classes on December 21st. For example, you can start school on January 3rd.

Everyone else could wait.

This will allow coaches to better determine if this recruitment is necessary. And that way, new recruits will have a better idea of ​​who will be mentoring them, and will provide as much information as possible before making promises that are often doomed to failure if such knowledge is lacking. can.

A month after igniting competition with a state title run, Anderson Jr. could go anywhere from Power Five to D-II. When most scouts’ opinions and recruitment lists were formed, he was a much better player in his senior year than in his sophomore year.

As such, it’s a game of musical chairs.

Therefore, we will abolish the early signing period and postpone high school recruitment. The player acquisition business has changed. You have to follow the calendar.

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