The messages appear quite different on the surface, and I think that is because they are drawn from different scenarios.
The way I understand battles (and I may be way off), is that sim has a couple of options - One team has a commanding lead (say favoring team A by an 80-20% margin) and you get the message "Recruit is definitely leading to team A." or it is fairly close (say favoring team A by 52% to 48%) and you get the message " Recruit is torn between team A and team B".
Once you knocked the other school off the considering list, the sim defaulted to the scenario where only one school is considering. ie, either you have put in effort to get the recruit considering you "Recruit received some early interest from Team A but is still open to other offers" or you put in A LOT of effort to get the recruit strongly considering you " IE, "Recruit is a high priority for team A"
Most likely you put in enough effort to take the battle from something where you were ahead 80-20% to the point that you were ahead say, 99%-1% so it dropped the other team off the considering list, but you didn't put in enough effort to get the recruit to strongly consider you.