Last updated on January 10, 2021
The information herein is a simplified presentation of important dates and terms encountered during the college football recruiting process. The official 2020/2021 NCAA football calendars can be viewed by clicking on the PDF links below:
- NCAA FBS (Division I) Football Recruiting Calendar for Class of 2020-2021
- NCAA FCS (Division IAA) Football Recruiting Calendar for Class of 2020-2021
- NCAA Division II Football Recruiting Calendar for Class of 2020/2021
Other important links:
- 2020-2021 NCAA FBS Head Coaching Changes: In the Dawn of COVID-19
- Contact College Football Coaches: Contact info for every college team in America: mailing address | phone | fax| email
Class of 2021 NCAA FBS Recruiting Calendar Dates (Simplified)
For more detailed explanations for terms used see the Definitions (simplified) section.
- August 1, 2020 through August 31, 2020 is a Dead Period
except for: Forty-eight hours before a home contest (on the institution’s campus or in a facility normally used for its home games) that occurs in August or on September 1 or 2 through 48 hours after the conclusion of the contest:
- September 1, 2020, through November 28, 2020 is a Quiet Period except for the Evaluation Period noted below:
The NCAA allows colleges 42 evaluation days (54 for U.S. service academies) evaluation days (see Bylaw 13.02.7.2) during the months of September October and November selected at the discretion of the institution; authorized off-campus recruiters shall not visit a prospective student athlete’s educational institution on more than one calendar day during this period::
November 29, 2020 through January 30, 2021 is a Contact Period
Six (6) in-person, off-campus contacts per prospective student-athlete shall be permitted during this time period with not more than one permitted in any one calendar week (Sunday through Saturday) or partial calendar week.
- December 13, 2020 is a Quiet Period
- December 14, 2020 through January 14, 2021 is a Dead Period except for:
The seven days immediately before the first day of classes of the institution’s second academic term that are not part of the contact period (applicable only to
prospective student-athletes who intend to enroll midyear): And December 15- through December 21 2019 for National Service Academies which is a Contact Period for them. And January 10 through January 12, 2020, which is a Quiet Period for the National Service Academies
NCAA Division I National Letter of Intent Signing Day is Wednesday, February 3, 2021. The NCAA Division I signing period for the class of 2021 lasts through Thursday, April 1, 2021.
- January 31, 2021 is a Quiet Period
- February 1, 2021 through February 28, 2021 is a Dead Period
- March 1, 2021 through April 14, 2021 is a Quiet Period
Class of 2022 Initial Evaluation Period Begins April 15, 2021 and lasts through May 31, 2021
One hundred sixty-eight evaluation days [216 for U.S. service academies (see Bylaw 13.02.7.2) excluding Memorial Day and Sundays selected at the discretion of the member institution as provided below:
An authorized off-campus recruiter may use one evaluation to assess the prospective student-athlete’s athletics ability and one evaluation to assess the prospective student-athlete’s academic qualifications during this evaluation period. If an institution’s coaching staff member conducts both an athletics
and an academic evaluation of a prospective student-athlete on the same day during this evaluation period, the institution shall be charged with the use of an academics evaluation only and shall be permitted to conduct a second athletics evaluation of the prospective student-athlete on a separate day during this evaluation period.
Those days in April and May not selected as an Evaluation Period are deemed a Quiet Period
June 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021 is a Quiet Period except for June 28 through July 24, 2021 which is a Dead Period
NCAA Football Recruiting Definitions (simplified)
Contact Period — It’s permissible for authorized athletic department staff members to make in-person and off-campus recruiting contacts and evaluations. College coaches are allowed to visit recruits off campus (at their high school or home). Coaches can make only one visit per week to individual recruits and are permitted to make one phone call per week to a recruit during this period.
Quiet Period — Recruits can visit with college coaches but only at those college campuses. Also, during the month of September, October or November coaches are permitted to make one in-person off-campus visit to a recruit (at their high schools or at an athletic event) (colleges are allowed a total of 42 days of evaluation time during this period).
Dead Period — Coaches are not permitted to make in-person recruiting contacts or evaluations on or off-campus or to permit official or unofficial visits by recruits or to make phone calls to recruits.
Evaluation Period — It’s permissible for authorized athletics department staff to be involved in off-campus activities to assess academic qualifications and playing abilities. No in-person, off-campus recruiting contacts with a prospect are permitted during these evaluations: the college coaches are only allowed to attend athletic events and/or the prospect’s school and talk to the high school coaches and school administrators but they are not allowed to speak to the recruit during one of these visits except to say “hello.” Colleges are allowed a total of approximately 168 days each year to conduct evaluations for all of their prospective recruits.
Early Signing Period — A short period of time, in mid-December, when the NCAA allows senior high school student-athletes to sign their Letter of Intent earlier than the beginning of the National Letter of Intent Signing Day in February.
Answers to FAQ
When Can a College Football Coach Start Calling Recruits and How Many Times?
First Permitted Phone Call to a Recruit: FBS (D1 ) football coaches can make one phone call to a prospect from April 15 through May 31st of his junior year. Additional calls to the prospect and/or to his parent/guardian or relatives may not be made until September 1st of his senior year.
Beginning September 1 of a prospect’s senior year, college coaches can begin calling a recruit, but they are forbidden to call a single recruit more than once per week. Coaches can make no calls to recruits during dead periods.
When Can a College Football Coach Start Sending Letters and Emails?
Colleges can send prospects non-athletic program information such as college summer camp brochures, news letters, recruiting questionnaires, and educational information about their schools at anytime . However, college coaches cannot begin sending personal correspondence to a recruit until September 1st of his junior year.
When Can a Prospect or Parent/Guardian Contact College Coaches?
Recruiting prospects and/or their parent/guardian are allowed to make phone calls or send correspondence to college coaches at anytime.
For the official NCAA definitions click the following link to read the Official NCAA Glossary of Terms for Contact | Contact Period | Quiet period |Dead Period | Evaluation Period | Prospective student-athlete | Unofficial visit | Official visit |Verbal commitment | National Letter of Intent.
When is the First Time a NCAA Football Program Can Make an Official Scholarship Offer to a Prospect ?
NCAA schools cannot make an official offer to a prospect until on June 15—after his sophomore year—or on (or anytime after) September 1 of his junior year.
To Learn More About the Football Recruiting Process View: