It's official: College football will have a December signing period in 2017

The new signing period goes into effect this year. (Getty)

High school football recruits in the class of 2018 will officially have a chance to sign with their colleges of choice before National Signing Day.

Monday, the Collegiate Commissioners Association officially approved a three-day signing period for high school seniors. The 72-hour window will begin Dec. 20 and end Dec. 22. Seniors who are settled on their college choice can sign a National Letter of Intent in that timeframe. Any player who doesn’t sign in the early-signing period will have to wait until National Signing Day on Feb. 7, 2018 to sign with a school.

The approval was a formality after the NCAA’s Division I Council endorsed the measure in April. The Collegiate Commissioners Association had to sign off on the proposal to make it official because the CCA is in charge of the National Letter of Intent process. The council looked at the measure after it was backed by the American Football Coaches Association and proposed by the DI Football Oversight Committee.

Adding an early-signing period in college football makes the sport’s signing structure very similar to men’s college basketball, which already has an early-signing session. The period could be a boost for teams outside the Power Five conferences who can find players who haven’t received much attention and get them to sign Letters of Intent early.

The NCAA also approved a 10th assistant coach for Football Bowl Subdivision teams in April. That rule goes into effect in 2018. The sanctioning body also moved up the window for official visits for recruits. Players who are high school juniors in 2017 can take their first official visits to colleges in April 2018.

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Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!