Coaches Pay Attention As Recruits Use Social Media - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Coaches Pay Attention As Recruits Use Social Media

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CHARLESTON, SC -

Just last week, a number of lowcountry natives signed their national letters of intent to play college football. But the way the recruiting leading up to signing day has changed over the last few years is immeasurable and a big reason for that is the way social media has injected itself, like it has in all aspects of life, into recruiting.

"It's huge because the kids are on it and if you're not on it, you're behind" said Charleston Southern Head Coach Jamey Chadwell. "because that's how they communicate. That's how they find out about our program. So we spent a lot of time trying to make sure we were on that."

Before, college coaches could only check in on a recruit with the occasional phone call. Now, depending on how active they are on Facebook or Twitter, a kids actions can be watched at all times. Sometimes that can be a helpful thing.

"There's no more secrets in coaching. If you can play the coaches know that" said Rick Reetz the Head Coach at Porter-Gaud High School. "They can find you (thanks to social media) and then you get the opportunity."

"In the past you didn't have a cell phone sitting with you at the table where someone could call you at the last minute and make a different offer." said Goose Creek Head Coach Chuck Reedy. 

But other times, kids can cost themselves opportunities by saying or doing things on social media that make coaches think they aren't worth the trouble.

"There used to be a time when kids would go on there (social media sites) and even if they were just playing would say things or do things that reflected poorly on them and they didn't realize what that was doing to them." Reedy said. 

"I know recruits, not at our school, that have lost their offers because of what they put on social media." Reetz said. "The coaches are on Facebook, the coaches are on Twitter anything you say is public record. They're looking to see the kind of character person they bring in."

Among the things that can cause red flags for colleges include talking about or taking pictures of drugs and alcohol, profanity or bullying others.

"If there's kids on there that are saying a lot of things that we feel like don't fit what we're doing, we back off" Chadwell said. "There's a couple kids that happened with this year just because of things they said and how they portray themselves. So I think that is important. I think a lot of kids don't realize, but you're always looking."

"We just felt like even though they were good players, they just weren't the right fit for us and we moved on to a another prospect. That's unfortunate for them but we're trying to do what's best for us. Unfortunately sometimes with technology, you put something and hit send before you realize what you do."

Now more and more high schools are stepping in to try and teach kids the best ways to use social media.

"We just try to talk to them (kids), we don't try to tell them that you can't do it because we think part of the learning process and part of being a young adult is learning how to use (social media) properly." Reetz said. 

"Over the last 5 years, we've spent a lot of time trying to educate them and make sure they understand that everything they do and say is a reflection on them and on Goose Creek High School." said Reedy. 

Coach Chadwell also offered some advice that could go a long way.

"If you're right in front of your dream school and the head coach of your dream school, what would you say to him? That's what I tell everybody, if you're in front of someone and you want them to know about you, don't put it on Twitter."

 

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