Today begins the weeklong early signing period, during which high school seniors can make formal their verbal commitments to accept college athletic scholarships in most sports except football. High school football players can sign letters-of-intent in February.

Tamir Goodman, from Pikesville, Md., is one of several high-profile basketball players in the Washington area who will sign within the next several days. Goodman gained national attention when he made an oral commitment to Maryland in January. However, the 6-foot-3 guard changed his mind in September because he said he did not feel welcomed by Maryland's staff.

Goodman committed to Towson University last month and will sign today, according to Goodman's adviser, Harold Katz. Goodman is attending Takoma Academy in Takoma Park for his senior year, after transferring from the Talmudical Academy.

In addition to Goodman, Towson is expected to sign Spalding guard Tremaine Robinson and Bullis forward Mohamed Fofana. The other starter in Spalding's backcourt, Derrick Snowden, will sign with Villanova.

Meanwhile, Georgetown is expected to sign three players. All-Met center Michael Sweetney of Oxon Hill made a verbal commitment to Georgetown prior to his junior year and will join forwards Omari Faulkner of Memphis and Gerald Riley of Milledgeville, Ga., in signing with the Hoyas.

Lake Braddock senior guard RaMell Ross, who has made a verbal commitment to Georgetown, will attend Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy next year and sign with the Hoyas next fall, Lake Braddock Coach Mark Martino said.

Maryland is expected to sign 7-4 center Matt Slaninka of DeMatha. The Terrapins are recruiting several other players, including forwards Chris Wilcox of Raleigh, N.C., Abdou Diame of Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va., and Reggie Evans of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College and 5-9 guard Andre Collins of Crisfield, Md.

Crisfield Coach Phil Rayfield said Collins needs to improve his score on the Scholastic Assessment Test to meet the NCAA's minimum standards for receiving an athletic scholarship as a freshman and expects to sign in the spring.

Slaninka's teammate at DeMatha, forward Robin Wentt, will sign with Delaware.

George Washington will sign forward Shawn Davis of Memphis, and Towson (Md.) Catholic guard Keith Jenifer also could opt for the Colonials.

The most notable area girls basketball player to sign this week will be All-Met center Candace Sutton of Largo, who will make her commitment to North Carolina.