Time to take an early official visit — then pledge early

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Among the changes to the men’s college basketball recruiting model, which included the publicized re-opening of the April evaluation period and unlimited text messages rules, were other odds and ends. Just as significant to the recruiting trail is the ability of potential prospects to take official visits, starting Aug. 1.

The new recruiting model allows athletes to take official visits following Jan. 1 of their junior year of high school. It was officially implemented today. The timing works out conveniently for college programs in the sense that they can get their top priority recruits on campus sooner than ever before, and lock down commitments that allows more focus on their current teams.

A trickle of a dozen or so pledges has resulted just in the last few days across programs in D-I, and that trickle could develop into a huge stream as the early official visits start in earnest and a push to get commitments on trips is widespread. From there, more schools than ever could have their recruiting classes nearly set in stone by the time the early signing period rolls around on Nov. 14.

The regulations also all for paying for the campus travel for a parent or guardian, meaning all of the necessary people to tender and accept a scholarship offer will be present on campuses, now and going forward.

Kellon Hassenstab runs Hoopniks.com. Follow him on Twitter @hoopniks.