That said, college programs will continue to sign players through the late period, which runs from April 16-May 21. We checked in with our national Scout.com recruiting team to inquire about the nature of these late signings.
Do you view these signings as equivalent to those that take place in the fall, or are they different in terms of expected outcomes for those players and, if so, how different?
Josh Gershon: It always depends on the coach doing the recruiting and the prospect he's chasing. Sometimes, there are some real quality players still around in the spring that coaches are smartly targeting to have a big role in their program in the future. Other times, a handful of coaches have beer goggles on and are looking at the best available players thinking they are better than they really are, which is often the case when you see low-major prospects go high-major in the spring.
Those are the two extremes, with the more common scenario being that the coach realizes the player he's taking isn't quite good enough, but the team flat out needs another player at his position for next season so they'll make the most of it until they can find better.
Brian Snow: I typically joke that this year's spring signees will be next year's transfers. Coaches in general are miserable this time of year and think their team needs to get a ton better next season, and then they sometimes panic. It's just the way coaches are wired, so they offer kids they have evaluated over and over, and unlike before they magically think those kids are good enough now and offer them a scholarship.
Sure, there are exceptions, but as you would expect in situations like this, most of the kids going to high-major schools now simply aren't high-major players, and then they don't play, get upset, and leave. So while it is good for a coach's short-term peace of mind to add kids in the spring, in reality usually it doesn't work out very well at the high-major level.
Evan Daniels: I think each circumstance and situation is different. In some cases, we have seen players make significant strides in the their final high school and are that level of player.
But the majority of the late signees, outside of the big names guys or players that have changed their game, are schools settling for players that may not be ready to play at that level. It's supply and demand. Schools need bodies and have a need and they have to get the best available player at the position of need.
Rob Harrington: I'm always very skeptical of spring sleepers. You can sign a sleeper after watching him in the summer when he lacks exposure, but by now most everyone has been evaluated and there's a reason they didn't attract much attention prior to this point. It's a perpetuating cycle: Players transfer, creating a need to gamble on unproven recruits, leading to more transfers.
There are exceptions. I do believe in late bloomers, and especially with big guys. Taking a shot on a frontcourt player can make sense, because in the worst case you're getting a big body in practice. One such player to draw attention recently is Trey Mourning.
To me, the worst kind of gamble is a character gamble. If you had misgivings about a player's off-court behavior before, there's no reason to change your mind just because you suddenly need a body. Those kinds of recruits can become toxic.
Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report