A check of this winter’s top 100 football recruits, as ranked by rivals.com, shows that 82 of the players already have given an oral commitment to the school of their choice. Most of these guys have spent two years getting wooed by coaches via phone calls, visits and all the rest. They know their options, and the 82 have a pretty strong idea about which jersey they want to wear next season.
Yet their recruitment continues. Those commitments mean nothing without a binding National Letter of Intent, which can’t be signed and sent until February 4. So between now and then, coaches will pepper most of the committed recruits with “Are you sure?” and “How about one more look?” questions in hopes of flipping them near the deadline. Changing a key player’s mind a few moments before he signs trumps a last-second field goal for every program in America.