T.J. Sheffield has had a change of heart, just 48 hours after committing via Twitter to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish’s 2019 class.
The four-star wide receiver, who said Friday that he would officially visit several suitors and “leave no regrets,” now has decided to shut down his recruitment.
“After committing to the University of Notre Dame, I have decided to forego all of my recruitment/officials visits with the exception of the one I spend with the UoND,” the 5-foot-10, 170 pound speedster wrote on Twitter. “Thanks again to all who have participated in my recruitment. #allin100% #GoIrish #FightingIrish”
There’s nothing official from Sheffield regarding what prompted the change of heart. Coach Brian Kelly has spoken often of what it means to be “committed,” and that definition — at least publicly — has never included “take official visits to other schools after giving your pledge to Notre Dame.” It’s a fair assumption that Sheffield and the Irish staff have talked since Friday, and engaged in a frank discussion of what a verbal commitment does and does not mean. (Nothing is truly official until Sheffield signs his Letter of Intent in December or February.)
As of this writing, Kelly has not published his typical “#WeAreND” tweet that accompanies every verbal commitment. Does that mean Sheffield is 100 percent committed to the Irish, who are, in turn, not 100 percent committed to him? That’s impossible to say without any additional insight from the Tennessee product.
Sheffield is one of two wide receivers committed to the Irish’s Class of 2019. (Cam Hart, a three-star from Maryland, is the other.)
He is also a part of another group of interest to me: High school athletes who choose either the Irish and the Michigan Wolverines while holding scholarship offers from both. Sheffield is the 45th player of this subset to choose South Bend over Ann Arbor since Jim Harbaugh was hired up north on Dec. 30, 2014. (Michigan has 39 such players.)
Sheffield is the 34th fourth-star and first Tennessean to choose Notre Dame over Michigan in the time period. (Michigan has 27 four stars and two Volunteer State products: Nate Johnson, a three-star wide receiver from the Wolverines’ 2016 class and Eric Gray, a four-star running back from the Class of 2019. Johnson was later dismissed.)
Sheffield is also the 11th Class of 2019 guy to pick the Irish over the rival Wolverines; Michigan has coaxed nine guys holding Notre Dame offers to The Great Lake State.