Signing Day glossary

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With a big day ahead, here's a quick review of some key terms to know surrounding the recruiting process and Signing Day:

Signing Day
The first Wednesday of February annually serves as a college football holiday of sorts, as it's the first day high school seniors are allowed to sign a National Letter of Intent to play football at the next level. While nearly all players sign today, some wait longer to make a decision, with football's signing period opening today and technically running through April 1.

National Letter of Intent
A binding agreement between a prospect and the university they plan on attending, the signed letter of intent -- an official NCAA document coupled with financial aid information from the institution -- acts as a contract that details the terms and obligations for both the player and school, including scholarship and eligibility info.

Early enrollee
High school seniors can graduate one semester early from high school and enroll in the spring semester at the university he intends to play for. To do this, players must have already qualified for the NCAA's academic standards. USC has three early enrollees this year -- Dillon Baxter, Patrick Hall and Kyle Prater.

Verbal commitment
A nonbinding oral statement made by a prospect prior to Signing Day. Most players follow through on their commitments, but some make switches at the last minute.

Official visit
Recruits are allowed to take up to five official visits to the schools they are considering attending, but no more than one per institution. The programs pay for all expenses on the weekend-long trips, including transportation, room, meals and entertainment costs. The official visit weekends, many of which are during the football season and the others occurring in January, play a significant part in the recruiting process.

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