There still isn’t a firm timetable on when four-star linebacker Roquan Smith will commit to school, but when that happens, he won’t be signing a National Letter of Intent.
Smith had originally picked UCLA over Georgia on last Wednesday, only to put off his decision after news broke that Bruin defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich would be heading to the Atlanta Falcons. As a precaution “in case something else unexpectedly happens again,” Montezuma (Ga.) Macon County coach Larry Harold told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Smith won’t be signing a letter at all.
That means that the 6-foot, 203-pound prospect will only sign a grant-in-aid agreement, which binds the school to the player — but not vice versa until the player enrolls. It allows coaches to publicly comment on the player, and can also be signed months before National Signing Day (as quarterback Josh Rosen did with UCLA last September). A player can also sign these agreements with multiple schools.
If anything, it’s surprising that more elite football recruits haven’t exercised their leverage and opted for this route, which has been taken more commonly in college basketball.