One of those major elements is the coaching carousel, assistants included. That leads to things like a respective prospect switching up his favorite schools, and even his verbal commitment.
For Jelani Jenkins, he and his family have been on top of college football's latest news for quite some time. Over the last year, with developments in some situations, and potential departures in others, the five-star linebacker's list of favorites have jumbled as well.
And with Feb. 4th and signing day still a few weeks away, things are still subject to change for the Good Counsel High (Olney, Md.) standout.
"In college football everything changes everyday," Maurice Jenkins, Jelani's father said. "Last week, the situation was more different than this week.
"We kind of look at every situation, and look at everything very closely."
Jenkins mentioned situations like Larry Johnson possibly leaving Penn State, or Charlie Weis being let go from Notre Dame.
In Orlando at the UnderArmour All-America game, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound Jenkins said the schools he is looking at the most are Florida, Penn State, Notre Dame, Illinois, Boston College and USC. The elder Jenkins confirmed that on Tuesday.
Jenkins has already taken an official visit to Florida, and has one set for Happy Valley. Maurice Jenkins denied any favorites.
"He's going to make a decision pretty close to signing day," Jenkins said.
Plenty of coaches have been trying to influence Scout.com's second-ranked weak-side linebacker. Coaches have been coming by the school and house in droves. Some of those coaches have been wearing the Notre Dame logo.
Irish assistant coach Ron Powlus keeps in touch once a week during the allowed contact periods, and several staff members have made the trip out to see Jenkins. Weis has made his in-home visit as well.
"We had a great talk with coach Weis," Jenkins said.
In the ever-changing world of college football, Notre Dame almost saw themselves eliminated from the Jelani Jenkins sweepstakes, when it was rumored Weis might not be back. Once Weis was backed by the university, Notre Dame was firmly back in the race.
When Weis made his visit to see the Jenkins family, the two parties talked about the pros and cons of Notre Dame from the Jenkins' prospective.
"We talked specifically about that," Jenkins said. "When we went there this summer on a visit, we saw it has a lot of parallels to the school Jelani goes to now, Good Counsel, down to the color of uniform. The school culture, primarily a religious institution, and strong academics, Good Counsel is one of the better academic schools in the area. That's a strength and that's why Notre Dame continues to stay in the picture."
"When coach Weis was here, we talked about what our concerns were. Up until a couple weeks ago, there were concerns about if coach Weis would be back at Notre Dame. The fact that was resolved, shed new light to their program. Other than that, it will come down to ultimately, Jelani is going to make the decision."
Another thing Jenkins is going to have to decide on, is where to take his remaining official visits, or if he's going to take them at all. This summer, the family visited roughly 20 schools, with Notre Dame being one of them, and it doesn't look like the family will be coming back to South Bend.
"We spent a day at Notre Dame, so it's not necessary for us to come back for an official visit. They're still in the running, but we don't deem it necessary to come back for an official visit.
"I talked to coach Powlus about that earlier this week, and he fully understands that."