clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Coaches responded to an NCAA rule change by retweeting recruits hundreds of times

Welcome to The Crootletter (sign up to get this in your inbox every morning!). I'm Bud Elliott, SB Nation's National Recruiting Analyst, and in this space I'll be sharing news, rumors and musings on the world of college football recruiting.

The NCAA’s new rule allowing coaches to retweet and share social media posts by prospects, enacted under the guise of "confirming a prospect’s recruitment," took effect at midnight Monday.

We’ve already sought to explain the exact motive and mechanics behind the rule change, and we've talked to folks this policy change impacts. It’s complicated, and the resulting actions figure to vary by staff and school.

What happened in the first 12 hours?

Nothing exciting, really. Just retweets upon retweets.

TCU coach Gary Patterson retweeted well over 100 tweets from prospects, which represents almost 3 percent of tweets or retweets he has ever sent. Here is one:

Other staffs, like Miami’s and Tennessee’s, were also quite active. If you happen to follow coaches on Twitter, your timeline is likely a cluttered mess, and you should consider using the "turn retweets off for this user" option.

What did coaches decide to share?

This is the more interesting question. The typical retweet consisted of these elements:

  1. Prospect said something good about a school, and
  2. Prospect used a photo or graphic.

Tennessee’s receivers coach Zach Azzanni, who also executed over 100 retweets, shared this from top receiver prospect Jeremiah Holloman.

The tweets retweeted by coaches seem to be fairly recent, with the exception being that coaches are reaching back however far they need to go in time to make sure and retweet a prospect announcing he has committed to a school, as Miami coaches did with this 2015 tweet from tackle commitment Navaughn Donaldson.

A few coaches retweeted player highlights as well, but the vast majority of retweets have prospects speaking positively about a school.

What’s next? Will this pace continue?

I doubt it. While coaches will continue to retweet prospects, and some may un-retweet something just to retweet it again, there simply are not that many positive tweets from kids schools are actually recruiting to send hundreds of retweets daily.

Certainly, some kids will begin to tweet more and more so that they get retweeted even more, but most won’t. Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck told SB Nation back in the spring that he saw this becoming a "numbers game," and he’s probably right.

The next step in this may be subtweet battles between coaches after multiple staffs retweet the same prospect. The possibilities are endless.


A recruit called a press conference to commit ... to his own high school, instead of LSU, Alabama or Ole Miss. Apparently his high school coach orchestrated the stunt.

Being committed to your high school and teammates is awesome, but the prank wasn’t. It’s wasting folks' time who were probably spending it with their family on a Sunday evening. I’ve seen people say the media didn’t have to cover the event, which is true, but the prank doesn’t work if the media doesn’t show up.

As someone who works more than 25 weekends a year, I’d be pissed if a high school coach made me give up one I didn’t have to work in order to cover this nonsense. Admittedly, it would have been much worse if more lead time was given and media from out-of-state made the trip. As it was, just the folks from New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Plaquemine were hoodwinked.

UCLA lost a commitment from a three-star athlete from California who had very recently committed to the Bruins.

Alabama gained commitments from a pair of teammates out of Madison’s (Ala.) Bob Jones High School. Three-star athlete Kyriq McDonald told me he wants to be a receiver, but I think Alabama will play him at defensive back. Four-star tackle Kendall Randolph is a nice prospect who might also eventually end up at guard. Alabama now has the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation and is about dead even with Ohio State.