The Tucson Citizen had an interesting story today, asking about half the Pac-10 coaches about the possibility of introducing an early signing date to football as exists in basketball.
Since Tyrone Willingham wasn't one of the coaches included, I asked him this morning. His reply:
"There's good and bad to it. Obviously it allows young men to make decisions early. It also helps programs early. Now you know you've got these guys in the fold and you move on and work on other guys. I think there are good and bad signs to it. Whatever legislation comes through, you adjust."
On the belief that an early period helps bigger programs:
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"I don't think there's any question about that. If you're hot and doing very well right now, most young people gravitate to you. Now, you're probably a lot stronger than other guys, and it puts a lot of pressure on the kids for those programs. They won't hold out and wait and see and make decisions later and get in with that great school: 'I better do it now.'"
For now, of course, there are only non-binding verbal commitments, which UW has received from offensive lineman Scott Shugert of Oregon, cornerback Vonzell McDowell of Rainier Beach, quarterback Ronnie Fouch of California, linebacker Quinton Richardson of O'Dea, tight end Chris Izbicki of Lake Washington HS, and offensive lineman Emeka Iweka of Rainier Beach.