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How Tre’Vour Simms Makes Us Reevaluate Verbal Commitments

tre simms

Verbal commitments are enough to make anyone’s head spin.

It’s a handshaken agreement between a student-athlete and a university, but it’s not set in stone until a written commitment is signed during a specified window of time.

If that weren’t confusing enough, take this news about Tre Simms from East St. Louis.

Offensive Lineman Tre’Vour Simms

Tre Simms was committed to the University of Illinois back in July. But then he decommitted, in favor of Mizzou. So far, this is a classic story of decommitment, which is a common enough act in modern recruiting.

But then this weekend, Tre flipped back to Illinois. Or maybe he didn’t.

Here’s a timeline.

Confused? You’re not the only one. Here’s the reporter for the Illinois Inquirer who had the scoop:

Choosing what school is the right fit for you is always a tough decision.

Back in October, when Tre’Vour Simms was committed to the Illini, his head coach said that Tre was a model player, according to

“When you get that maturity and that strength in a kid, and he starts believing in himself you get a kid that makes big plays. And you kind of saw that down at the end when it got down to it we wanted to run Tre’Vour’s way.”

And it seems like Tre still has all that strength and maturity. Here’s what he had to say on Twitter about his choice of commitment. (His Twitter profile now says that he’s a University of Missouri commit.)

What other student-athletes can take away from Tre’Vour Simms’s story

We rarely talk about just one student-athlete’s journey here because, as Tre says, deciding where the right fit is for you is an intensely personal and difficult decision. And — as outside observers who wish nothing but the best for Tre, as well as the rest of the incoming classes at the Universities of Illinois and Missouri (and will be excitedly watching all the proceedings at Early Signing Day, February 3) — we have some advice, but not for Tre.

This is advice for the rest of you, who might already be verbally committed, or might even just be starting to think about whether playing your sport in college is in your future.

You should always make sure you’re looking at schools that are the right fit academically, athletically and socially.

You should always find the right fit. And it’s not just the roster that counts towards that. Will you match well with your school’s academics? Will you enjoy hanging out with your teammates and other friends outside of practice?

Be careful and considerate in your commitments.

No, a verbal commitment is not binding. But it is, still, a commitment. Look at how much buzz Tre had stirring up around him, how many extra voices started talking to him about what he could or should do on social media.

I remember how difficult my college decision was — and that was a choice I made solely with my parents’ input.

Be wise in the commitments you make, and if you absolutely need to, in the ways you decommit from them.

Neither your coach nor your parents can make your recruiting decisions for you.

This is your recruiting journey. It’s your education, and your life. When you look back at the college experience you had as a working professional, you should be happy with everything you accomplished. Own it. If you need it, you have resources to help.

About the author
Andy McKernan

Andy McKernan is the content strategist at NCSA Athletic Recruiting. A content marketer with a background in creative writing, Andy brings several years of experience to NCSA.