Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Early commits learning a lot can change in a matter of months
When Oregon offered Dontre Wilson a scholarship in March, the DeSoto running back’s response was as blazing fast as one of his 37 touchdown runs last season.
“Took it on the spot,” Wilson said.
Wilson was all set. All he had to do was wait until Feb. 6, the first day he could turn his oral commitment into a binding letter of intent.
But a lot can change in 11 months. In recruiting, a lot can change in 11 hours.
Over the weekend, Cedar Hill receiver Quincy Adeboyejo decommitted from Texas A&M, Jesuit linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni switched his oral commitment from Oklahoma to Texas A&M, and Wilson heard that Oregon coach Chip Kelly was headed for the NFL.
While Wilson played in the Under Armour All-America Game on Friday, he thought about whether he would want to play for another coach.
“I worried about it a lot,” he said. “It would be back to square one.”
Kelly decided to stay at Oregon, leaving Wilson feeling “very relieved.” But many high school football players are feeling quite the opposite as national signing day approaches.
Nothing is official until then, and as we all know, nothing is settled by an oral commitment. The commitments are nonbinding and sometimes nonsensical, as when a player commits to one school but continues taking recruiting trips to others.
College coaches bolt for a better job or get fired, which often leads to players reconsidering their oral commitments. Sometimes new coaches rescind the scholarship offers of the former coaching staff, and many times, players have a change of heart. That seems to happen more often as college coaches press for oral commitments before a player begins his senior year.
Lancaster quarterback Demarcus Ayers committed to Washington State last summer but decommitted in December and is looking at other schools. Prestonwood Christian tight end Christian Morgan committed to Florida State in the summer and changed to Mississippi in the fall. Arlington Martin running back Kyle Hicks committed to Texas way back in February, but then changed to TCU in December.
I couldn’t reach Mastrogiovanni to ask about his decision to switch from Oklahoma, which he orally committed to in June. But Texas A&M beat Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and is one of the nation’s hottest programs right now.
So why would Adeboyejo drop his commitment to such a hot program?
Adeboyejo seemed caught in another situation that often leads to busted commitments. With last week’s commitment of another top receiver, the Aggies were set to sign nine players — including those classified as “athletes” — who could play receiver.
“When I committed, I knew they needed receivers,” said Adeboyejo, who committed in March. “They told me they were only going to take five, but then when it got to nine, it kind of got out of hand.”
Adeboyejo, who had 91 receptions and 17 touchdowns last season, said Monday that seven schools had contacted him over the weekend, including TCU and Texas Tech. He plans to visit Tech next weekend.
“I really wanted to go to A&M,” Adeboyejo said, “but I have to do what’s best for me.”
So do all the players, as well as the coaches. And with no penalty for changing your mind, expect a lot more change in the next month.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon