Teenagers change their mind. If one thing is for certain it is that teenagers don't always realize what they truly want to do until the last minute. While one choice may look more lucrative than another, the situation may change as time passes. Schools such as Fresno State may receive verbal commitments from recruits only to have the recruit retract their statement at a later date. Many may wonder why a recruit would possibly do something of this sort and honestly can you blame a young man? When recruiting reaches the final weeks schools such as Washington, USC, and UCLA may lose out on a recruit they counted on acquiring. When this happens it leads these BCS tier schools to search elsewhere for a quick replacement. A school such as Fresno State is liable to take a hit more so than any other mid-major school in the nation because of the level of recruits the Bulldogs continually get. Schools like Fresno State have to worry that another program such as Washington will swoop in and take a recruit right from under their noses.
Last weekend Tyrone Duncan changed his commitment to Washington when they offered. The reason he committed to Fresno State in the first place was because of the fact he did not believe that Washington would offer him. While verbal commitments are nice to have they are not binding. A recruit does not have to hold on to his word because he has given nothing more than a verbal. The recruit has not signed a piece of paper or done anything else to say he must end up at the school he has verbally committed to. In a way you cannot blame a young man for doing so, the more offers that come in the harder it becomes to make a decision. If you are 18 years old and have committed to a school such as Fresno State what would you do if USC came calling two days before signing day? USC is a national program that has more prestige than most colleges in the nation today. USC continually finishes in the top five and is able to recruit anyone they sought after. Take the case of Christian Tupoa. Tupoa is currently being recruited by many colleges such as Fresno State, USC, Oregon State, BYU, and Miami. While he may become an impact player at a school such as Fresno State he will not receive the type of education and exposure he may receive at a school such as USC. Generally all Pete Carroll has to do to land a recruit is say the following line "We are USC". Fresno State has to try and sell their program to many recruits because the Dogs do not have the exposure, the tradition, nor the location that a school like a USC does. (disclaimer: I realize USC is actually in the middle of the ghetto, but you don't have to travel far to find the beaches and such)
In the end verbal commitments are not set in stone. There will never be a verbal commitment that will hold suit if the recruit does not want it to. At the same time there is no telling what a recruit will end up doing in the long run. Fresno State has not had good luck with their famed four star recruits such as Ricky Miller, James Paulk, and Vincent Mays. The recruits that seem to have faired the best for Fresno State are those that come in with two stars. Two star recruits can play college football but are generally under the radar recruits. Richard Marshall was a two star recruit. Bear Pascoe was a two star recruit. David Carr was a two star recruit. Logan Mankins and Garrett McKintyre were walk-ons. Do not get caught up on the stars a player has been given, that is not a telling stat of how good a player will truly be. Instead look at a players potential and how he may fit into the system of the school he chooses. Players such as Ryan Mathews (if he qualifies) will fit into the Bulldogs system well. For anyone who has watched his highlights, Matt Faulkner looks to be a perfect fit for the Bulldogs QB system. He has a strong arm over the middle and seems to have both patients and accuracy. Faulkner has the height and will find the meat as the Dogs will make sure to get him into the training room. Just remember one thing: Recruits and their rankings are all based on potential. Potential will always remain until the player comes through and turns that potential into results. We can only hope that the recruits that remain in the Fresno State system will perform at they level they are capable of. If this happens the Bulldogs football future will be just fine and those recruits we will have lost will not matter when all is said and done.