Should MSU Drop a Commit for Visiting Another School?


Apr 30, 2013; Greensboro, GA, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs head coach Dan Mullen putts as Mississippi State Bulldogs former football player Fred McCrary looks on during the Chick-fil-A Challenge at the Reynolds Plantation Resort. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell/CFA-pr via USA TODAY Sports **HAND OUT PHOTO **

In case you didn’t catch everything in the Brandon Bryant 24 hour soap opera last weekend: he visited Southern Miss despite telling the coaches and media he would no longer be visiting any other schools…that he was 100% a Dawg. The coaches weren’t happy about it and Bryant nearly lost his scholarship offer to MSU as J.T. Gray is waiting in the wings to take it. Things settled down on Sunday and Bryant is still a Mississippi State commit and should sign on February 5th with the Bulldogs.

There are two mind sets about a committed player taking visits (official or unofficial) to other schools:

  1. it’s a free weekend trip, let them take it and enjoy the recruiting process (if you recruited him well you don’t have anything to worry about)
  2. players should honor their commitment to a school and not take any other visits

Obviously if you fall into category number one your answer to the proposed question is “no”. If you fall into number two then it’s either “yes” or “maybe”.

What is the right thing to do? Should MSU take away an offer from a committed player if they visit another program? Is that too harsh?

Recruiting can be a cat and mouse game. How do you know for sure if a kid is committing to your program to ensure they have a safety net if their desired school of choice doesn’t offer (i.e. Sean Rawlings)? How does a kid know for sure that their offer is iron-clad and they’ll 100% have it until they fax in their letter of intent (i.e. Darrius Liggins)? There wasn’t any malicious intent by either side on either occasion in those examples – it’s just how it goes sometimes in the messy game of college football recruiting.

When MSU extends an offer to a player and they accept that offer, MSU is saving a spot for them in their class. They are committed to MSU and MSU is committed to them. As a prospect, if you seriously want a spot in that program’s class and have every intention of going to that school, then why do you need to take any other visits? You have to put yourself in the shoes of the program – if you’re committed but taking other visits then you might be playing games and might be using that commitment as a safety while you seek out other options.

Sure, there are innocent visits where the player is just seeking to get out of the house, or check out a place they’ve never been. But how does a program truly know those intentions?

An argument could definitely be made that a player should take all the visits they can because they also never truly know if their scholarship offer is 100% assured….so they need to have a back-up plan if things don’t work out with their original school.

Bottom line – if MSU is willing to drop a recruit for visiting another school they’ve also got to be completely honest with each commit. Committed prospects deserve to know if another player is being recruited that could potentially take their place. 98 times out of 100 this isn’t an issue at all – many many more times over schools honor their commitments at a higher rate than prospects.

I don’t have a problem at all if State drops their offer if a commit visits another school. Why did that player commit if they are still unsure enough that they need to take more visits? MSU can’t afford to play games with recruits and be left holding the bag on signing day. This is a multi-million dollar business where programs are placing a lot of value in 18 year-old kids. It’s more important to do what the coaches ask to protect their own future than risk it all over a fun weekend.

Brandon Bryant is a really good player who I’m very excited about. He was an example in this article but it’s not all about him.  In general terms, should MSU drop a commit for visiting another school? There are exceptions to every rule, and every player is different, but on the whole I say yes.