A: In football, verbal commitments don’t usually mean much to opposing coaches, especially with high-level prospects. In football it is pretty common for coaches to continue to recruit players, even after they’ve verbally committed to another school. The level of recruitment may vary, but it’s common for coaches to continue to send mail, email and possibly invite commits to camps or unofficial visit events even if they are verbally committed to another school.
In men’s basketball, it is more common for coaches to back off of a recruit once they have committed to another school. Overall, they take commitments more seriously and are more likely to move on to other non-committed players. Each sport varies.
Nothing is official—for any sport—until a National Letter of Intent (NLI) is signed. Signing a National Letter of Intent ends the recruiting process since participating schools are prohibited from recruiting student-athletes who have already signed letters with other participating schools.
If you are a player who has verbally committed to a school and are firm in that commitment, it is fine to tell the coaches from other schools who continue to recruit you that you are no longer looking. Normally, if you request to be taken off mailing lists and ask for the phone calls and visits to stop—they will.
Other sports take verbal commitments more serious and once you commit most other coaches will back off and move on to investing their time and effort into other undecided prospects. Recruiting players requires a big time commitment from coaches.
It’s best not to commit to a program unless you are 100% sure. You don’t want to commit and de-commit more than necessary. Commit to a school only if you think it’s a good fit and your best (or a great) option.