Gunner Kiel, the top rated pro-style quarterback in high school football, made news last week when we decided to attend the University of Notre Dame, instead of Louisiana State University. It was the second time that Kiel changed his mind concerning his choice of school. Kiel originally provided a verbal commitment to Indiana, before switching to LSU, and finally enrolling at Notre Dame.
Kiel’s journey reminded us, first and foremost, that recruits are only 17 or 18 years-old and are prone to changing their minds. But it also demonstrates the fact that a verbal commitment is not binding on either the school or student-athlete. The NCAA describes a verbal commitment as follows:
Verbal commitment is the phrase used to describe a college-bound student-athlete’s commitment to a school before he or she is able to sign a National Letter of Intent. A college-bound student athlete can announce a verbal commitment at any time. While verbal commitments have become popular, they are NOT binding on either the college-bound student-athlete or the school.
Kiel deserves credit for taking his time and making sure that he choose the right school for him. In light of the recent issues that student-athletes have experienced attempting to transfer (see Brock Berglund), it pays to get it right the first time.