If you follow college football recruiting, you know all too well that there can be some strange and bizarre stories and some down right serious drama that would rival the best television soap opera on a good day. I present to you the curious case of 2018 quarterback Ben Bryant.
Bryant is a three-star rated Pro-Style QB for the class of 2018 and hails from La Grange, IL where he plays football for the Lyons Township Lions. After receiving an offer from the University of Wisconsin on June 24, 2016, his very first FBS scholarship offer, and making a number of visits to Camp Randall, Bryant committed to the Badgers on December 7, 2016. Fast forward five months later, and the rising high school senior receives his third FBS offer on Thursday, May 11th from the University of Georgia.
And like most prospective student-athletes who are appreciative of getting an offer from a program, he did what every other recruit with a social media account does and sent out basically a ‘Thank You’ Tweet on Twitter.
Humbled to receive an offer from The University of Georgia pic.twitter.com/o1wK07XVaZ
— Ben Bryant (@benbryant_7) May 12, 2017
No harm, no foul. Right? Not quite. At least not in the minds of the Wisconsin coaching staff. For all intents and purposes, the University of Wisconsin pulled Ben Bryant’s offer the very next morning.
Verbal commitments from prospective student-athletes do not bind them to the school they verbally committed to, and of course, that works both ways. The school is also not bound to honor a recruit’s verbal commitment; although, at the risk of bad public relations. Until a prospect enrolls at a school or signs his National Letter of Intent (NLI or LOI), he is free to be contacted and visited by as well as go visit and receive offers from other programs. It is not uncommon for a recruit who is verbally committed to one school to receive multiple offers after he has announced his decision publically, especially if he is a highly ranked or coveted prospect.
Right now, as of the time I am writing this, we just have Bryant’s side of the story and there has not been an official statement from the University of Wisconsin. Which leaves room for speculation, and if I had to speculate, it is quite possible that the Wisconsin coaching staff felt they might have accepted Bryant’s offer to soon and were looking for a reason to back out. Either way, the Badgers football program has taken a black eye on this one on social media. Paul Chryst might have phoned Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson to ask him about the pros and cons of pulling a prospect’s committed offer without a good reason.
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