The 2019 UCLA Bruins football recruiting class has been underwhelming in the eyes of many Bruin fans as well as those like SB Nation recruiting analyst Bud Elliott who tracks recruiting nationwide.
Of course, the 2019 recruiting cycle essentially comes to a close this Wednesday on National Signing Day when any recruits who didn’t sign during the Early Signing Period in December will be able to sign a National Letter of Intent and officially become committed to the college of their choice.
While the coaching staff has been out visiting a lot of schools over the past few weeks, UCLA football does not appear to be content with the program’s recruiting activity for this year’s class. To that end, the program announced this morning a new plan to announce football scholarship offers on the 8th day of every month.
It’s being called #8Clap8th Scholarship Offer Day and they made the announcement on Twitter.
Introducing #8CLAP8TH Scholarship Offer Day!!!— UCLA Football (@UCLAFootball) February 4, 2019
On the 8th day of every month, we will be offering a new wave of recruits. Stay tuned! The first wave starts February 8th!#GoBruins | #8Clap pic.twitter.com/VklGZRUEN8
The announcment states:
We are launching a new monthly scholarship offer event that will occur on the 8th day of each month, called the #8CLAP8TH. So, on the 8th day of every month, we will be offering a new wave of recruits. Named after the iconic UCLA 8-Clap cheer, the #8CLAP8TH will be a day for football players interested in attending UCLA to digitally connect and get excited about coming to Westwood.
So, if you want to be a Bruin in the future, be sure to keep your phone by you on the 8th day of every month while #8CLAP8TH offers are flying around! Our goal is to own that day, and it all starts on Friday, February 8th.
On one hand, I like the fact that the coaching staff has realized that they need to do things differently than they did for the 2019 class.
But, on the other hand, I can’t help but feel like this idea is going to fall flat on its face. I mean, I understand what they are trying to do with this. They obviously want to try to use this day to build excitement for UCLA football recruiting, but it feels like they are unnecessarily restricting themselves to offering scholarships to players one day every month.
It certainly raises some interesting questions.
What about the 27 to 30 days? Will UCLA football not offer scholarships on those days too? Or will UCLA possibly offer a scholarship on another day and just hold back an announcement on that offer until the 8th of the month? And, if they do offer a scholarship on another day, if an excited player takes to Twitter and decides to announce the offer before the 8th of the month, are they going to pull that offer? Finally, what is UCLA going to do if the 8th day of the month falls during a “no contact period” when coaches are not allowed to contact players?
It just seems like this new plan hasn’t been very well thought out.
Make no mistake, it could certainly make it a whole lot easier for fans to follow along. Right now, here at Bruins Nation, we don’t generally cover every scholarship offer simply because, at least in years past, there had been so many offers that it didn’t seem to make sense for us to publish an article every time a potential recruit was offered since most recruits would not end up signing. That’s not a knock on UCLA recruiting. It’s just that scholarship offers have been a large numbers games.
Heck, in the 2019 recruiting cycle as of December 18th, some schools have made over 400 “scholarship offers” to players, even if Chip Kelly had only extended 76 offers this year at that point.
How many offers have Power 5 schools made for the 2019 recruiting class? The total offer counts as of this weekend, according to 247. pic.twitter.com/cKJaJaVjUs— Max Olson (@max_olson) December 18, 2018
Instead, we’ve tried to maintain some sanity by waiting until a recruit makes a commitment to UCLA before we write about it. To be honest, even that has proven to be troublesome at times over the past few years as there have been quite a few recruits who announce a verbal “commitment,” only to back off that verbal commitment later in favor of another school before either the Early Signing Period or National Signing Day. It’s made a lot of fans really wonder if recruits really understand what the word “commitment” means.
But, getting back to UCLA’s new plan for #8CLAP8TH monthly events, I can’t help but compare it to what Microsoft does with updates to their operating system. Things had kind of gotten out of hand with the number of software updates the company had been pushing out. So, they tried to bring some sanity to the process by only releasing software updates on the second Tuesday of every month except when there was an critically important security update. It kind of feels like the same thing.
The good news is that Microsoft’s plan did bring some sanity to things. But, computer software is inherently logical.
Unfortunately, recruiting high school students to attend a particular university is not inherently logical.
It will be interesting to see if UCLA’s new plan for monthly scholarship offer days improves recruiting for 2020 and beyond.