Tweets being the culprit of a scholarship offers’ removal isn’t exactly a rare thing. College football coaches and teams monitor social media constantly, of both recruits and current players. Some schools have dedicated staff members to keep an eye on athletes. Other schools don’t let their players tweet at all during the season.
Former Wisconsin QB commit Ben Bryant, a three-star from Le Grange, Ill., learned a social media lesson the hard way this weekend. He didn’t curse in a tweet, and he didn’t tweet something embarrassing to his personal character or the school’s reputation. He merely tweeted about a scholarship offer from another school.
Humbled to receive an offer from The University of Georgia pic.twitter.com/o1wK07XVaZ— Ben Bryant (@benbryant_7) May 12, 2017
Bryant told Scout.com that was enough for Badger coaches to pull the offer.
Committing to the Badgers since December, Bryant told BadgerNation that his offer was pulled by the coaching staff after posting on Twitter that he was offered a scholarship by Georgia.
“I got a call this morning from Wisconsin saying that there’s no longer a spot for me there because I posted that I got another offer,” Bryant said in a message. “Very disappointed.”
This is the nature of the verbal scholarship offer.
The school is not bound to anything with an offer. Teams pull offers for plenty of reasons. We often never know the real reasons those offers get pulled either, because schools aren’t allowed to comment on players they haven’t signed, per NCAA rules. So Bryant’s side of the story is all we have to go on.
Some schools make their committed players completely shut their recruitment down when they commit, while others do not. If Bryant’s account is accurate, it seems his only sin here is making the offer public, not merely receiving the offer.
But on the flip side, it’s the player's right to continue to seek other opportunities for himself and continue to take visits and potentially accept offers. Should something happen to the coaching staff at Wisconsin, Bryant should be able to explore options. There also should just be a general freedom of choice before a player has signed his Letter of Intent.
It’s also his right to publicize on social media something that’s a big landmark in his life, receiving an offer from a blue-blood program. Bryant reportedly also has an offer from Central Michigan.
And offers have been pulled for much more unfortunate purposes.
If there’s a silver lining for Bryant, it’s that he still has the entire summer camp circuit to get out in front of coaches and impress someone. Lane Kiffin drew heat for pulling offers from kids right before Signing Day.
Typically a big-name offer like Georgia can garner attention from other schools. QBs do often commit early in the recruiting process (like Bryant did in Dec. 2016) but there are always schools looking to add extra signal-callers. Bryant also said that he’s not intimidated by another QB being included in a class, because Wisconsin had another QB pledge.
So, Bryant’s recruitment is now open. Here’s hoping he lands in the right situation.
Recruiting news and notes
This section of the Crootletter via Bud Elliott.
- LSU got a top receiver recruit to recommit to them, after he had decommitted a few months prior.
- Four-star QB Adrian Martinez, a one-time Cal commitment, picked Tennessee over Oklahoma over the weekend. Tennessee now has two QB commits.
- Four-star QB recruit Dakereon Joyner will make his commit on Father’s Day. Joyner wants to play QB, and NC State and South Carolina both want him to be a quarterback, as opposed to as an athlete.
- Defensive end recruit KJ Henry has some ridiculous athleticism.
- We keep track of all the QB recruiting news in our annual QB Dominos feature, because a QB making a commitment to one school inevitably impacts several others.
- Maryland is looking to do a better job recruiting locally. That would be great if the Terps can pull it off, but many schools attempt to recruit the DMV area. Easier said than done.
- Ohio State extended an offer to Jeremiah Salaam, of Frostproof (Fla.), which is a very remote part of the state, located about 90 minutes East of Tampa, and 90 minutes South of Orlando. Salaam is currently unrated on the 247Sports Composite. It is hard for prospects to go under the radar in Florida, given how many schools recruit the state. But Frostproof is the type of place where it could happen. Salaam measured in at 5’10 and 165 pounds at the Orlando Nike Opening Camp in February of this year, which is 3 inches and 15 pounds smaller than his listed 6’1 and 180 pounds on recruiting sites. And his Nike Rating, a score measuring 40-yard dash, shuttle, powerball, and vertical jump was just 78 — 127th overall at the event. Given that Notre Dame, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kentucky have also offered, despite pedestrian testing numbers for a safety, I figured Salaam plays faster than he tests. His highlight tape shows an instinctive, physical player with ball skills.
- The 2012 QB recruiting class was a big failure.