Whether prospects want to admit it, I believe they pay close attention to depth charts of current college rosters as well as commit lists or who is being recruited at their respective positions. In today’s landscape, redshirting is almost an afterthought for most prospects whether they are being realistic or not. So if they think they are going to play right away, then whoever else is involved in the equation is likely to make an impact on their decision. It’s human nature.
However, it can also be a red flag indicating a lack of competitiveness. Coaches want players who do not care who else is already at the position. They want guys who think regardless of who else is there, they are still the best guy, so it doesn’t matter. Look at Alabama’s 2013 class at running back. I don’t know if I have ever seen that before. Most coaching staffs are selling that they are going to play the best guys, regardless of class. So if you are the best guy, you will play. For most prospects, that is all they need to hear. When they arrive on campus the onus is now on them to perform and prove their worth.