DJ Durkin had never seen a National Signing Day run so smoothly until Wednesday morning, which marked the beginning of college football’s inaugural early signing period and felt different to the Maryland head coach in more ways than one. He wore a slight grin as he walked from his office at Gossett Team House and into the “war room,” where assistants huddled around a massive conference table with their laptops.
“What do we got?” Durkin asked as he entered the room. “TJ? Jaelyn?”
An assistant nodded that both were in the process of signing their national letters-of intent.
“Oh yes!” Durkin said, looking calm and relaxed, knowing that those two offensive line prospects — TJ Bradley and Jaelyn Duncan — wouldn’t need long to finish the process. By that point, signing day wasn’t two hours old and Maryland had already sealed the deal with 20 of the 22 players it would sign Wednesday.
How? Through a program called Teamworks, a communications and operations platform that is becoming an increasingly powerful tool in major college football. Nearly 100 programs in the top-tier Football Bowl Subdivision use the software as a communication system during the season — including Maryland, which uses the platform to centralize scheduling with all of its players and coaches.
But Durkin and his staff took it one step further Wednesday, using the system to streamline a process that has typically been more chaotic. Instead of faxing and emailing, Teamworks allowed the staff to email a private link with the required documents to each of its prospects, who then could simply sign on their mobile devices and forward the papers to their parent or guardian. Within minutes, the documents were back to Maryland’s staff and being reviewed by the program’s director of recruiting operations, David Wilczewski, as well as Cody Gambler, the assistant athletic director for compliance, who ensures that all of the signatures and date lines (those using the software can also type in numbers onto the documents) were correct before approval.
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