Not too surprisingly, it’s not just recruits who flip-flop on verbal commitments.
With more than a dozen offers from Power Five programs on the table, four-star 2019 wide receiver T.J. Sheffield announced July 6 that he had verbally committed to Notre Dame. Five days later, the Tennessee high schooler took to Twitter to announce that the Fighting Irish had pulled their scholarship offer.
Why? “I received a call from [wide receivers coach DelVaughn] Alexander stating that Notre Dame was not going to honor my commitment due to a change of plans,” Sheffield wrote in the social media missive. What those change of plans are specifically is the great unknown and, as Notre Dame is forbidden by NCAA rules from commenting on unsigned recruits, we are left with just one side of the story.
To Sheffield’s credit, he reacted to the football program’s about-face with grace and class.
“I completely accept Notre Dame’s decision as God’s will for me and know that God has an open door for me that no man can shut,” the receiver stated. “Thanks again to Notre Dame for considering me as a possibility for their program.”
The four-star prospect is rated as the No. 38 receiver in the country and the No. 9 player at any position in the state of Tennessee on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. He still holds offers from, among others, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Stanford, Virginia Tech and Tennessee.