Time to settle in for recruiting waiting game

When it comes to many of the elite recruits in California, it looks like it will be a waiting game in terms of hearing a final decision on their college selection.

With the draw of nationally televised signing day announcements, several of the top prospects appear to be in no hurry to make a final choice, instead preferring to line up a media partner and prepare for their moment in the spotlight.

Truth be told, you can’t blame any recruit who wants to enjoy the process and go up until the day when they can actually put pen to paper and sign a letter of intent. After all, this is their college choice we’re talking about here, and they have every right to handle things how they want, no matter how much it may test of the patience of fans wanting to know if the recruit will be on their favorite team’s roster next fall.

It wasn’t too long ago when the spring evaluation period (which just ended last week) was considered the first opportunity for college coaches to really begin their process of identifying and selecting which recruits they wanted. Sure, there was the occasional blue-chip player who warranted an early offer in -- gasp -- his junior year, but for the majority of players there was still a long way to go before any mutual decisions were made between recruit and school.

In 2014, however, that is no longer the case. It is early June and all 10 teams ranked in the top 10 of the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings have double-digit verbal commitments. The USC Trojans sit just outside the top 10 at No. 11 and have eight commits.

This isn’t a subtle trend that’s developed lately -- it’s a bona fide game of musical chairs, and many recruits are grabbing their spots earlier and earlier so as not to be left out when the music stops and there are no more scholarships left. No position exemplifies this more than quarterback, where the top four signal-callers in California have already made their college choices.

What makes it interesting is that none of the other top 10 players in the state are expected to make a choice any time soon. Guys like Rasheem Green, Keisean Lucier-South, Iman Marshall, Equanimeous St. Brown, John Houston Jr., Marvell Tell and Kahlil McKenzie are all taking their time with narrowing down the schools on their wish list and preparing for campus visits and official trips in the fall.

There’s no question that being an elite player makes it easier to take your time while knowing that a school is likely going to hold your spot. And as far as the Trojans are concerned, waiting is a little easier when you have 25 spots as opposed to the last three years when being limited to 15 rides meant more of a balancing act than the coaches were used to at times. Things will get tight as signing day approaches and available spots begin to dwindle, and that is always part of the drama that comes with the world of college football recruiting.

So if you’re a USC fan waiting impatiently for word from any of the elite position players in the state, you may want to sit back and relax because it might be a while. But it sure could make for an exciting signing day.