Friends don't let friends tweet at recruits
Take 10 seconds and think about it.
Think about the fact that this is a stranger. Think about the fact that this is a teenage kid. Think about the fact that this is a game. Think about the fact that the greatest recruiters in the country came to their living room and gave them their best pitch. Think about the fact that they spent time on campus. Think about the fact that they have parents who want what’s best for them. Think about the fact that this decision has been on their mind since the first time they got a college scholarship offer. Think about the fact that this announcement is supposed to be the greatest moment of their young life.
Then I dare you to tweet at that recruit.
That should be the thought process that every college football fan goes through before sending nasty messages to a high school kid that they haven’t met before. And no, just because you follow them on Twitter and know when they took all of their official and unofficial visits does not mean you know them.
It wasn’t OK before Twitter became a thing, and it didn’t become OK after Twitter became a thing. No recruit has ever been swayed by a tweet from a stranger.
I realize that a lot of people that are reading this don’t fall into that category. The people that tweet at recruits are probably the same people that don’t have the patience to read 250 words into a story.
But there’s more than one type of person that’s guilty of this rotten 21st century habit.
Take @Matty_Ice28. He didn’t like the fact that Dredrick Snelson, a three-star Minnesota commit, was taking an official visit to Penn State.
Even though @Matty_Ice28 was a self-proclaimed first-time offender, he couldn’t help but share his frustrations with Snelson when he tweeted a picture of himself in a Penn State jersey:
@D_Snelson2 lmao dude I never tweet at KIDS but u are a joke. How many schools have u committed to? Do u have a dart board of schools on
— Matt Orf (@Matty_Ice28) January 31, 2016
Some people don’t even need to be prompted.
Take a look at consensus No. 1 recruit Rashan Gary’s mentions in the last week and see what he’s been going through. He doesn’t even need to tweet to have people blowing him up with stuff like this:
@RashanGary33 Michigan is 2-12 versus Ohio State over the last 14 years. Go to Clemson unless you want to get beat like a rented mule.
— Orange (@cgorange) February 2, 2016
Then there are the kids who want to open up their recruitment. Maybe the coach that recruited them left or maybe they just realized they jumped the gun on the whole process.
Former Ohio State commit Terrell Hall had to deal with that when he made the public announcement that he was opening up his recruitment back in August. Those announcements usually don’t produce the hateful or threatening tweets.
After all, fresh decommits like Hall just became highly coveted free agents:
@_TrillTrell_ That warms my Nittany Lion heart! Hoping you'll choose the PSU 40 year plan. You'll have no regrets in this family.
— Jack Cahn (@jcahn2) August 4, 2015
But the dirtiest tweets come out when a recruit announces a flip. Four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins was linked to Ohio State throughout the 2015 season despite the fact that he was a Maryland commit.
But when the Terps got an entirely new coaching staff, Haskins decided that his home-state school was no longer the right fit for him. As expected, there were plenty of Maryland fans that weren’t too happy about his flip to Ohio State:
@mkthomas98 jammed us right in the ass. Hope he never plays a down for them.
— PAQ Daddy (@paqdaddy107) January 19, 2016
It was natural for Terps fans to feel a sense of betrayal. As the top quarterback in the DMV, Haskins was expected to be at the center of Maryland’s turnaround. Instead, Terps fans were left feeling like Cleveland when LeBron James left for Miami.
That’s not my way of comparing Haskins to the biggest superstar on the planet. But there are still too many people acting like Haskins — or any other recruit that flips — just committed the cardinal sin.
In today’s age, they might be worshipped like saviors, but they’re still kids. Taking their word as gold is idealistic. Not every high schooler knows how to make a highly publicized adult decision. A lot of them aren’t old enough to see an R-rated movie yet. They shouldn’t be subjected to R-rated tweets from strangers, either.
Blame the process if you want. If there was an early signing period, maybe there would be fewer flips and decommitments. But there are no signs of that starting anytime soon.
So for now, take 10 seconds and think about it. Save your 140 characters for something else.