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Football: Lambert's Dicks III, Snyder take advantage of early signing period
Lambert seniors Kenneth Dicks III, left, and Alex Snyder pose for pictures after the players celebrated signing national letters of intent to play college football at the school on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017. - photo by Brian Paglia

Kenneth Dicks III and Alex Snyder figured, why wait?

The Lambert senior football players signed their national letters of intent to play for Wake Forest University and Lehigh University, respectively, on Wednesday in the school’s media center, taking advantage of the first year football players can do so with the NCAA's new early signing period.

“It’s just really exciting to finally make it to this point,” Snyder said. “It’s been so much work put in to it, and to finally be here, it’s awesome.”

Dicks III added: “Unbelievable. It’s like a dream come true.”

Recruits previously all signed on the first Wednesday of February, which will remain intact, but the day had become saturated with anxiety and drama for athletes and colleges alike. Coaches have been making scholarship offers to high school recruits earlier and earlier, leading recruits to make commitments earlier and earlier, too. But the February signing day allowed plenty of time for competitors to persuade a recruit to change plans. The Collegiate Commissioners Association approved the new early signing window this past May in hopes of alleviating the potential recruiting chaos.

Dicks III was perhaps a perfect candidate for the new signing period. Wake Forest offered the cornerback during his junior season, and after visiting the campus and entertaining coaches at his home, Dicks III committed to the Demon Deacons this past summer. The cornerback remained committed to Wake Forest throughout his senior season, during which he had 33 tackles, nine pass break-ups and two interceptions and was named second team all-region.

Instead of waiting an additional month-and-a-half to sign, Dicks III opted not to prolong the process.

“I was sold on the school,” Dicks III said. “It was the place for me.”

Snyder committed to Lehigh on Dec. 10, but he too didn’t feel the need to wait until February to make his choice official. He liked the school’s academic reputation, and the chance to contribute early and at his preferred position, tight end. Snyder had 20 catches for 282 yards for the Longhorns this past season and was named second team all-region.

“I mean, it was the school I wanted. I might as well get it done earlier than later,” Snyder said. “I just wanted to get it over with.”

Their head coach, Louis Daniel, has mixed feelings about the new signing window. Daniel worries it will lead college coaches to pressure athletes into committing even earlier than before, but he considers it a positive that players can end a significant yet stressful decision-making process sooner.

Dicks III and Snyder were a testament to the latter on Wednesday.

“I’m very proud of them,” Daniel said.