College prospects are being watched on Facebook and Twitter

College football prospects are being watched on Twitter and Facebook.

And many of them know it.

Jordan Watkins realized it after attending a WrestleMania event last year. “One of the Ohio State coaches was messaging me, asking who was winning and who was doing what,” said the Woodward Academy defensive tackle who signed with Stanford last February. “That kind of woke me up to it.”

Shaq Wiggins discovered it after tweeting out some song lyrics. “When I was talking to some coaches in person, they were like ‘I like so and so song that you put on Twitter’ and I was surprised they had paid attention,” said the Sandy Creek High School cornerback who is committed to Georgia.

Brandon Kublanow, the highly-recruited offensive lineman, knew after attending his prom at Walton High School. “I had coaches look through my Facebook photos, and were telling me I looked nice in this or that one.”

He's back! Mark Richt on Twitter (AJC)

He's back ... Mark Richt on Twitter (AJC)

Social Media is a new and popular way for colleges to both monitor and communicate with potential recruits. Just about every elite recruit has a Facebook or Twitter account, or both.

Coaches are on there, too. Georgia’s Mark Richt, after expressing  reluctance, returned to Twitter last week after an 1,072-day absence to publicize the program and get noticed by recruits.

Under NCAA rules, a coach can send a Facebook friend request to a prospective student-athlete and follow them on Twitter.

And once they do, they are often finding out a lot of new information. Some of it good, some of it not so good.

“I’m on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and you name it,” Virginia coach Mike London said. “You will find out more about guys on Facebook and Twitter sometimes than you will having a 10-minute conversation with them because a lot of times they will let their guard down and show a side maybe you haven’t thought about before.”

Said Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, “The society we live in now, how kids are growing up, [Social Media] is a huge part of their lives. It’s a huge part of what they do and how they communicate. So we embrace it … It’s another way to build relationships and get to know people.”

Unfortunately for some recruits, their comments and tweets are also destroying relationships with colleges.

Last year, one of New Jersey’s top prospects was expelled from school and reportedly had scholarship offers withdrawn after posting explicit messages on Twitter.

Duluth High School coach Corey Jarvis said one of his former players was recently kicked off a college team for the same reasons. “It was the final straw. It was stuff that shouldn’t have been posted. I understood where the college was coming from. He was representing the program when he did that.”

It became such a concern to Lovejoy High School coach Al Hughes that he finally gave in and created Facebook and Twitter accounts, simply to observe the team.

“I’m on there for the same reason as most college coaches – I wanted to know what was going on and keep up with the pulse of the team,” he said. “We’ve told all our kids to be careful what you say because you’re being watched.”

Joe Burns, the former Georgia Tech RB, is co-founder

Joe Burns, the former Georgia Tech RB, is co-founder of a high school all-star game that has an educational seminar on Twitter and Facebook (AJC)

Many high school football players are cautioned about the dangers by parents and coaches. Joe Burns, the co-founder of the RisingSeniors.com high school all-star game, even went as far to have a 90-minute educational seminar for last season’s participants.

“We let them know with Social Media and the Internet, we’re all publishers; anything you say is out there immediately,” Burns said. “I just put out a Tweet the other day saying that there’s going to be some really good football players not make this year’s game because of their Twitter accounts.

“If they’re talking crazy, we’re not going to let them be in our game because we care more about their image than they do. We’re trying to take a stand and get certain kids to be leaders and be more respectful … I think it’s disrespectful how some of these kids talk, and I can’t believe their parents aren’t jacking them up.”

Ronald Jenkins, the father of AJC Super 11 defensive end Jordan Jenkins, created a Twitter for several reasons: To follow news about his son (who signed with Georgia), to correct or address recruiting rumors, and – surprisingly — to follow the tweets of college coaches.

“Those guys were looking at Jordan, and I was looking at them to see if their character was a little different than what they were representing in person,” he said.

“We didn’t eliminate anybody based on that. But I did monitor them, and if there was a concern, we would’ve definitely discussed it as a family with something like ‘Hey I don’t agree with this and I don’t like that person’s character.’ Yes, it could’ve lead to losing trust in a coach.”

It works both ways. Sometimes, you just never know who is watching you on Facebook and Twitter.

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80 comments Add your comment

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
10:13 am

Good way to see their Character

HighTech

May 29th, 2012
10:16 am

Here is a good example of how not to use social media….

http://georgiatech.247sports.com/Board/35/D-Rex-Wrecksneffect-trying-to-sabotage-Vad-Lees-recruitment-790060/1#a793219

From Vad Lee:

“@WrecksNEffect yo I don’t know you and I would really like if you stop tweeting me! Thank you and God bless!”

few minutes later:

“Although I do encourage you to watch GT football this year and years to come!”

Wow, very classy of that young man to handle the situation like that. I’m glad he’s a GT man!

Fans contacting recruits to try to sway them one way or the other is out of bounds and against good judgement.

HighTech

May 29th, 2012
10:17 am

*judgment. -1 pt. for poor spelling.

BoneDrownedDave

May 29th, 2012
10:24 am

Joe Burns might be an old Techie nerd. But he’s right on the money. It’s amazing that many parents of college prospects don’t keep closer tabs on their sons’ social media pages with so much on the line. And amen to Burns not accepting players into his all-star game with screwy and ignorant and insensitive social media pages.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
10:34 am

Some of the things these kids post I can’t even read or understand. Words are not spelled and the language they use might as well be Chinese. I am not saying just black kids. It is the language of all the kids. I am not sure how coaches older than 28 have any idea what the hell many of the posts mean. I am willing to bet the coaches have a Twitter/Facebook Interrupter tell them what the hell is being said in many of the posts.

Game Changer

May 29th, 2012
11:07 am

@ALL

And Mark Richt and UGA put a certain player out as a poster boy, lets talk that certain player: student body does not like certain player or his character, pictures of females without consideration of them, questions about a sex video out with a coed who approved and thinks its funny, questions about failed test like some other teammates but goes unpunished while others sit out,

Mark Richt teaching men to be men: What a damn joke!!
McGarity: I got your back Mark Richt and will sweep it under the rug.

Delbert D.

May 29th, 2012
11:09 am

Coaches chasing recruits by any means necessary. Sordid, I think.

Rick James

May 29th, 2012
11:10 am

There was a guy blasting me in a blog last wek and I finally said to him that from reading his posts there was no way he attended Georgia Tech.Tech grads just dont speak the way you write.He admitted that while his handle indicated he was a grad the truth was that he never attended the school and was just a fan.People can pick up a lot from what’s sent out through social media.

Paddy

May 29th, 2012
11:35 am

Delbert D…….I think they might call it stalking in some towns & cities where family values are held in a higher level of importance. The “good ole days” really were the good ole days. Throwing away your chances at a free education because you don’t understand the consequences of Social Media, what a waste!!!!!!!!!!!! Just another case of parent neglect

Delbert D.

May 29th, 2012
12:05 pm

I read an article yesterday about the Department of Homeland Security monitoring not only all social networking, but blogs as well. The article had a list of key words that trigger a closer look at the intercept. One of the words is “team.”

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
12:13 pm

Delbert there are many people at HS reading a lot about Sports then. What a waste of time.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
12:20 pm

Better stuff usually than MC and AJC recruiting blog…………http://bit.ly/K9OoWh

Game Changer

May 29th, 2012
12:51 pm

Paddy, you are a apologist on this forum concerning everything that is wrong with UGA football and the athletic department.

I like reading your post and everyone elses for the most part, but you claim good ole days, parental upbringing and then support a certain poster boy favorite of Mark Richt who may just be the worse personality and character on the team. Nuff said

Wes Mantooth

May 29th, 2012
12:55 pm

Any fan who follows a high school or college student athlete on Twitter or Facebook crosses the line. I’m all for the coaches having access but a common fan is just creepy.

Game Changer

May 29th, 2012
1:02 pm

@ALL

A player post pictures on twiitter and or facebook without the females approval while in sexual or compromising situations – should all players involved be kicked off the team for doing such?

Remember: This is a Felony Crime.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
1:03 pm

Wes Mantooth……..Following College players on Twitter or Facebook is OK. It depends on what you are using it for. Some of the players are interesting to follow for more than just their life on the Field. They are in college and people can relate. To follow a High School is a little much. If your school is recruiting the kid some people post well wishes and mostly positives of why to choose their college over another.

Paddy

May 29th, 2012
1:09 pm

Game Changer…..I will not apologize for being a loyal Dawg fan, but my post was in no way intended to suggest anything associated w/UGA. How you came to that conclusion is beyond me. It was pointing at the lack of control by our youth and the lack of supervision by parents. Nothing more, nothing less. Though not a UGA grad, I am a fan since the late 70’s. I am also not beyond pointing out when I believe they could do better or changes be made. A fan yes, apologist, never.

Jacket Man

May 29th, 2012
1:15 pm

BoneDrownedDave, I’m glad that “Techie nerd” doesn’t discriminate against players who are looking at UGA as their top choice because a lot of these kids might not be invited to his important program. Whether you like it or not, people who attend GA Tech don’t fit your stereotype and the football players and other athletes on the various Jacket rosters don’t look at anyone as “competitors” outside of the playing field. It’s high time you fans start to give these guys their due, just like you would anyone else who does anything else positive for the community. Grow up and get over it.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
1:17 pm

I notice GAME CHANGER will not Say a NAME. If you KNOW the things you are saying are FACTUAL then you can’t be sued(and lose) for Libel.

SAY the name Game Changer and while you are at it POST your name too.

Paddy

May 29th, 2012
2:25 pm

Game Changer……if you do not support parental strenght and youth disipline, you are a lost cause. Tell me our country would not be better off having young people know what to do in most situations because their parents spent time with them when they were young and still continue to do so when the temptations of the teen years are the most difficult.

bitter f__ bamma fans

May 29th, 2012
2:52 pm

Well, well, well, A paddy cake, a bakers dummy, and a roll-um up and flush it down the
pan “shameless changer—-More LIES, DISHONEST STATEMENTS—terror via, guess what??

———————–SOCIAL MEDIA———–THANKS TROLLS

Rick James

May 29th, 2012
2:56 pm

@A person SMART enough to know……

May 29th, 2012
1:17 pm

I notice GAME CHANGER will not Say a NAME. If you KNOW the things you are saying are FACTUAL then you can’t be sued(and lose) for Libel.

SAY the name Game Changer and while you are at it POST your name too.
—————————————————————————————————-
Well said….If its true and you can prove it there is no way he will be sued. He’s blowing smoke.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:01 pm

You have to read this……………http://blogs.ajc.com/uga-sports-blog/2012/05/29/uga-basketball-player-donte-williams-arrested-for-marijuana-possession/?cp=1#comment-259569

HOW Stupid can you be to smoke dope and then park beside a cop car? UGa has some real Rocket Scientists playing sports.

JB

May 29th, 2012
3:18 pm

These poor coach’s. No one over 25-30 except for a few lonely nerds follow this social hype.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

Joe Burns
·
We are having a Golf Celebration to honor the life of my mother n law Kimberly Burton and to raise funds to help women who are getting treated for breast canceron June 11th at North Fulton Golf Course. The tournament starts at 1pm. Great fellowship, food and prizes. Your contribution will be tax deductible. Get your 4 some together, come out and have a great time. If you have any questions just send me a message or email me at jburns@risingseniors.com. Thanks in advance!

Wix.com Joes try created by tiffanymasseyburns based on photo-focus-new-express
http://www.kdbfoundation.org

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 29th, 2012
3:25 pm

Hats off to Joe Burns! Sounds like he has found a great niche in All Star games with his inclusion of Social Media Education. He perhaps if he is properly funded and the media will give him proper attention could well be on his way to success with young men. Keep up the good work Joe!

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:25 pm

Joe Burns
5 minutes ago near Atlanta ·
We are having a Golf Celebration to honor the life of my mother n law Kimberly Burton and to raise funds to help women who are getting treated for breast canceron June 11th at North Fulton Golf Course. The tournament starts at 1pm. Great fellowship, food and prizes. Your contribution will be tax deductible. Get your 4 some together, come out and have a great time. If you have any questions just send me a message or email me at jburns@risingseniors.com. Thanks in advance!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

May 29th, 2012
3:28 pm

Smart —

So many variable that are in play with the situation for you to leap from point A to point D make you look like a real fool. The young men where obviously in the wrong but you have no idea if the care was marked or unmarked? How close they actually parked to them but yet you still wanna put in some stupid zinger. Looks like Tech has some real Rocket Scientists as fans then….

bitter f__ bamma fans

May 29th, 2012
3:31 pm

@a person smart enough to be”a bakers dummy”———BLA-HAHAHAH
14 ST NERD

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:41 pm

LOWCountry……………A PATROL CAR………Do you not KNOW what a POLICE PATROL CAR is?

A PATROL CAR is a MARKED CAR you moron.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:44 pm

Low-IQ-countrydWag can’t read a simple sentence and comprehend what was written. God I hope you don’t have a UGa diploma.

” After the Charger parked in a space “right next to an Atlanta Police patrol car,” the officer approached the vehicle on foot to investigate.”

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

2012 Georgia Tech Football Hype Video
http://www.youtube.com

Paddy

May 29th, 2012
3:51 pm

a person Smart……..they used to be called Prowel Cars, back in the day, also. IE. Broaderick Crawford in “Highway Patrol” They don’t mak’em like they used to!!!!!!!!

Big Crimson 75

May 29th, 2012
3:58 pm

speaking of recruits & tweety birds( btw — if you tweet, you’re a queen — ex. Roddy White —

This one for Aubie Nation courtesy of bleacher report :

If it weren’t for Twitter, we wouldn’t be able to instantly know if a recruit enjoyed his visit to Auburn or not.
In this case, it was clear that, at one point, Cory Helms – a center from Alpharetta, GA, for the Class of 2013 – did not. Helms tweeted “This place sucks!” while visiting the Alabama school during its big recruitment weekend.
Helms then deleted the tweet and followed with this: “To clear things up for the mean people on Twitter. My auburn visit went well, just started off bad.”

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
3:58 pm

Paddy…………it was City of Atlanta Police not Highway patrol. It is Zone 2 at Lenox Mall it was the cars that patrol that area of Buckhead. They were Fully Marked with lights. I know where the station is and you would have to be dumb as a box of rocks to know see all the cop cars in that area near the Mall Station.

Gorilla Biscuit

May 29th, 2012
4:02 pm

“I am willing to bet the coaches have a Twitter/Facebook Interrupter tell them what the hell is being said in many of the posts.”

Hey SMART, what’s a Twitter/Facebook Interrupter?

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
4:03 pm

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
4:07 pm

interpreter……….sorry Gorilla

Big Crimson 75

May 29th, 2012
4:07 pm

For the record —
The Barn is a definite “cow-town”, however I do think the guy could have kept his thoughts to himself & shown a little graciousness to a “University” that invited him & daddy to their place during a big recruiting week-end.
Chances are, Chiz-Newton & Co weren’t gushing all over the young man enough for his liking.

Big Crimson 75

May 29th, 2012
4:13 pm

Smart — is that you or the “GT handle-burgler”!!!
Hate to say it — I’m glad the little puppy stopped doing it to me & is back on you and SS.

BLT

May 29th, 2012
4:21 pm

LMAO! Big Crimson 75
Good posts!

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
4:22 pm

Yes Bi Cri 75 it is me. Yes he has been doing it to me and Super a lot lately.

BLT

May 29th, 2012
4:32 pm

Don’t care for Facebook or twitter. Joe Burns is doing a good job helping the recruits out. Good for him and the players.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
4:32 pm

Low-IQ-countrydWag………No come back to show you are not a DUMB as your last post?

A person SMART enough to know......

May 29th, 2012
4:36 pm

BootLT….I have some of the tech players as friends on FB. Don’t get them as recruits. I will check some of their post as High School Players as it gets close to signing day. I really chat with a few players once they are on the Team. Some of the guys do some amazing things with their Class stuff at TECH.
I do follow Calvin Johnson still and Joe Nurns rising seniors is a good page too and GT sports as well.

1eyedJack

May 29th, 2012
4:37 pm

Bravo for Joe Burns! That segment needs all the help and advice they can get. Trouble is, will they listen?

Paddy

May 29th, 2012
4:40 pm

A smart Person…….you may want to go back and read my last post. Of course the article says Atl PD. I don’t understand your post to me. I make no reference to the Highway Patrol being involved in the arrest. I made reference to a ‘50 tv series starring Broaderick Crawford!. And they called them Prowel Cars back in the day! not so much any more.

bitter f__ bamma fans

May 29th, 2012
4:41 pm

DUMMIES————–HELLO, THIS IS A FOOTBALL BLOG——-NOT LAW AND ORDER

@PADDY-CAKE AND BAKERS DUMMY

BLT

May 29th, 2012
4:43 pm

It’s my preference SMART. I was speaking to the article. It’s a good article. Thanks Carvell