I originally published this article before the 2017 recruiting class signed their National Letters of Intent this past February, but feel it needs to be reiterated every year. Take my advice. Apply this to your everyday life, not just on signing day. Don’t be that creepy guy tweeting at high school kids.
Don’t tweet at recruits. Ever.
College football recruiting is a fickle mistress that hinges on the decisions made by seventeen and eighteen year old kids. Imagine yourself in your senior year of high school, with everything still ahead of you. You’re a star football player, and you have coaches from every program you grew up watching coming at you and offering you the world to come play at their school. You’re looking at probably the biggest decision you will have made in your few years on this planet. This decision shapes your future more than any decision most your age have made.
Now you have fans from these schools chirping at you on social media at all hours of the day, doing their best Billy Mays impression and telling you why you should play at [insert university here]. Things are going great. You’re the center of attention and feel like the king of the castle. You start taking your official visits, and eventually think you’ve found the school where you want to continue your football career. It’s a great fit for you. Everything you think you want.
But, suddenly, everything changes. These adults that have been blowing your mentions up nonstop for the last few months are now angry because you didn’t commit to their school. Some of them are more understanding, wish you well and disappear. But, inevitably, some keyboard warrior is going to take to the Twitter machines and say some truly awful shit to you. Goony McGoon, who was just patting you on the back two weeks ago because you said positive things about his team, is now calling you terrible names and screaming at you about how you’ll never amount to anything because you’re going to go somewhere that’s not McGoon University.
Now, some people pass this kind of stuff off as just being a passionate fan, and that these kids love the attention. Some of them may, sure, but I assure you that whatever you can possibly tweet at these kids will have no positive effect on their decision. In fact, there have been multiple examples of the opposite happening, most recently with Michigan fans and a former 5-star defensive tackle commit.
Recruiting is already a shady meat market. Grown men get paid millions of dollars a year to compete with each other for the services of a high school kid for the express purpose of winning games and earning more money for themselves. It’s gross.
Let’s make the Early Signing Period and National Signing Day less gross. Leave the recruiting stuff to the people that get paid to do it. Unless you’re on the staff of one of the programs recruiting [random high school football player], or an employee of one of the major recruiting evaluation services (247Sports, ESPN, Rivals) tasked with contacting these kids to get the latest news they will offer up about their recruitment, don’t do it. We don’t even like to do it here, and actively try to avoid it.
If ever in doubt, follow the number one rule of Twitter: Never Tweet.