The college football world has changed dramatically over the last few years. With the growth of social media, the drama of recruiting unfolds much faster. As Andy Staples pointed out in his recent article, even the way recruits communicate has become much more of a public spectacle. Entering this mix a month ago is a new recruiting tool at DirectSnap.com that helps organize all this information on Twitter into real-time streams for each of the top 400 recruits and every team.
When I was in Orlando watching the practices for the Under Armour All American Game, I had the opportunity to meet Drew Roberts, one of the three DirectSnap co-founders. "We noticed a trend in college football recruiting that information was spreading on Twitter before anywhere else and we wanted to create a service that would get this breaking news to fans." Drew continued saying, "I'm most excited about the technology behind DirectSnap that is able to download and filter all that information in milliseconds. The ability to organize and distill this information to add value to both Recruitniks and casual football fans is the beauty of the system."
DirectSnap has an agreement with Twitter that allows the website to instantly download tweets whenever a recruit's name is mentioned. Both the first and last name of the recruit must be together in the tweet and it must be spelled correctly. Here's a link to my profile on DirectSnap showing the recruits I've mentioned. Click on a recruit's name in my tweets and it loads the recruit's page displaying a live stream of Twitter updates on that player. For example, take a look at Jameis Winston's profile. It defaults to show the most recent twitter comments from everybody. If you don't care to see what regular fans are saying about him, they added a filter tab to "Show Top Tweets" that displays only a few tweets from fans and streams updates on that recruit from people working in the recruiting industry.
For casual fans that only check into recruiting on National Signing Day and don't know these recruits by name, the best place to start is finding the page for your favorite team. As an example, the Florida State page displays real-time tweets that use a recruit's name and also refer to the Seminoles. To the right of the stream, the most mentioned recruits in the last week are listed. Under that, the top committed recruits of that team are displayed with links to their profile pages.
The filtering capability DirectSnap is my favorite part. Most recruits do not maintain a separate Twitter account for recruiting. That means following a recruit usually entails a bunch of tweets that have no relevance to recruiting, whatsoever. On Monday night, I had to unfollow a recruit who had tweeted 170 times in a 12-hour period. It was simply too much, and my timeline was beyond clogged. On DirectSnap, however, I am able filter out all but the most relevant tweets.
DirectSnap processed 46,434 tweets about the top recruits during the 3 days surrounding the two high school All-American Games. Drew expects them to easily break that record on National Signing Day.