The early bird may end up getting the worm, but in the world of college football recruiting, the early offer usually ends up getting the edge.
Basically, the sooner a coach can connect with a player, the better. Coaches bank on the fact that if they offer a kid early on in his high school career, said kid will develop an affinity to their program. Once the other big-time colleges come calling in the kid's junior or senior seasons, the coach who offered early will have an edge.
The longer you've known someone, the more willing you are to stick with him, right? Same concept here.
The kids in the class class of 2016 are only rising sophomores at this point, but some of them are already receiving some major attention from colleges.
Which colleges are already targeting 2016 recruits?
Will Muschamp and his staff have been so aggressive on the 2016 recruiting trail that they actually already have two commitments. Wide receiver Tyler Byrd from Naples, Fla., has already committed to the Gators, as has defensive back Tre Jackson.
Jackson, in particular, is an interesting commitment because his father, Jack Jackson, is a former Florida star. He also goes to University Lab High School, which is located on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge, La., so his commitment to the Gators is extremely notable.
In addition to Jackson, Florida has offered 6'4'', 278-pound 2016 defensive tackle Rashan Gary, who boasts offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State as well. Defensive end Rahshaun Smith and wideout Sam Bruce also have an offer from the Gators.
In all, Florida has offered 15 recruits from the 2016 class.
Of course Nick Saban is already pitching "the process" to 2016 recruits. The Crimson Tide have yet to land a 2016 commitment, but if history is any indicator, we will most likely see a few very early commitments to Alabama.
Alabama has offered four 2016 recruits, one of which is the aforementioned Rashan Gary. Running back Devin White from Springhill, La., has been offered as well, as have tight end Kaden Smith from Flower Mound, Texas, and corner Khalil Ladler from Stone Mountain, Ga.
Urban Meyer is known as a great closer, but perhaps it's because he's not afraid to get an early start on the recruiting trail. Surprise, surprise, Rashan Gary also has an offer from OSU; it's rather obvious that he's a 2016 recruit that some big-time schools think can be special.
Gaines is an exciting recruit from Frostproof, Fla., who is already 6'2'', 210 pounds. He has a strong arm and is very athletic. He's a player that recruiting fans may want to keep an eye on.
What should I, the college football recruiting fan, take away from this?
If you're asking yourself this question, here's the answer.
Sure, there's plenty of time before the 2016 cycle is relevant, and signing day 2016 is eons away. It may be early, but in time, some of these names will be recognized by even casual college football fans.
The allure of college football recruiting comes from the never-ending hope it provides fans for the future. These players are the future.
Note: Offer information courtesy of Rivals.com.