Some might question going to a school that won't actually take the field until 2017.
A.J. Erdely isn't one of them.
The Gulf Coast quarterback saw UAB's current transitional phase as a positive and committed to the Blazers over Troy on Sunday.
Erdely, who wants to be a coach after his playing days are over, said the possibility to get ahead in the classroom was especially intriguing. Because the Blazers won't actually play a game until 2017, 2016 won't count against their eligibility.
"I like how you sit out a year. Really the school part of it, to get that extra year of school, made the difference," he told the Sun Herald on Tuesday. "They told us on our visit that we should be able to graduate before even stepping foot on the field. Then you should be able to get your graduate degree or masters before you're done.
"That's huge. You can't get much better than that."
Erdley is the second Gulf Coast standout to verbally commit to the Blazers, joining offensive guard Brandon Hill, who committed Nov. 8.
The Georgia native visited UAB this weekend, along with Hill and Gulf Coast teammate Neiko Robinson.
"It was my first time ever in Birmingham," Erdely said. "It's a great city. The school is in the city but it doesn't really have a city feel."
Shortly after leaving his visit and talking about the experience with his family, Erdely called UAB coach Bill Clark and committed.
"They were happy. They were excited," Erdely said. "They wanted a junior college QB and I guess I was the one they wanted."
Plenty of JUCOs
According to 247Sports, UAB has 19 players -- including 17 JUCO athletes -- committed toward its 2016 signing class. In addition to Erdely, UAB has pro-style prep recruit Tyler Marshall committed.
It's hard to predict what UAB's roster will look like once the Blazers take the field, but Erdely said he fully expects to compete.
"I knew it was going to be a competition anywhere you go," he said. "I was just making sure it was the right fit."
UAB's commitment list includes standouts like former Notre Dame running back Greg Bryant and LSU linebacker Clifton Garrett, as well as Pearl River's Maquedius Bain and Noah Jones, who played at LSU and Michigan State respectively. Erdely said he's excited to see what the future holds for the comeback program.
"They're putting a nice little squad together from what I can tell. That's awesome," he said. "It's not going to guarantee we're going to win right away, but it's nice to have all of the athletes around you."
Erdely, who passed for 1,881 yards and 14 touchdowns while leading Gulf Coast to the MACJC title game, plans to enroll Jan. 11.