Nothing is ever guaranteed in football recruiting until the day you sign your letter of intent.
Let's use the impact of Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin leaving for Penn State as Exhibit A.
Maine South three-star offensive tackle Brendan Brosnan (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) along with De La Salle four-star running back Mikale Wilbon (5-foot-8, 191 pounds) and Danville four-star defensive back Trent Sherfield (6-foot-1, 184 pounds) all made early verbal commitments to the Commodores. Yet with the departure of Franklin, the timing and impact from just a recruiting standpoint couldn't be worse for Vanderbilt and, in particular, the recruits.
While in many cases those early verbal commitment are honored by the next coaching staff, that is also not guaranteed. Again verbal commitment means just that, it's a verbal and non-binding commitment between both athlete and school.
So what happens next? In most cases schools will honor those early commitments, however that is not always the case. Some coaches will come in and re-evaluate the commitment listing. Some commitments will already reopen their recruiting, and so far Franklin has been able to sway two former Vanderbilt commitments over to Penn State.
What will the Illinois kids decide to do?
Both Brosnan and Sherfield have already told me they will remain committed to Vanderbilt for now and play the wait-and-see game. Wilbon tweeted out over the weekend that he is reopening his recruiting process.
Regardless of what happens, coaching changes always add to the last minute drama of National Letter of Intent Day, and that drama will be felt right here in Chicagoland.