One of the questions a lot of recruits ask is “What is a verbal commitment?” In short, a verbal commitment is precisely what the name implies: you’re not signing a contract, but telling the coach that you intend to join their team.
During the recruiting process, you will receive offers from schools, at which point you become able to accept any of these offers. You can do so in one of two different ways: verbally committing, or signing a contract.
Verbal Commitment: With a verbal commitment, you are telling your school of choice that they should expect you on campus when the season starts. Athletes who choose to verbally commit are usually unable to sign a letter of intent yet because they are choosing to commit before the signing date. While most athletes follow-through with this commitment, it is technically binding, so you can choose to decommit and go elsewhere.
Related: Need to Know NLI Signing Dates
Signed Commitment: If you choose to commit to a school during the signing period, you will likely sign an NLI. A signed commitment means you are officially bound to that school. Once bound, you are legally obligated to complete at least one year at the university before considering other schools. This is the primary difference between the two different types of recruitment.