This year we are beginning to see the impact of Twitter on college recruiting like never before. One of the more disturbing trends is the influence of the Twittersphere on the decisions that recruits make when selecting a university.
One Athlete’s Followers on Twitter Changed His Decision
Back in early January, Shaq Thompson, one of the nation’s top recruits, received a lot of backlash when he indicated he might be interested in playing for USC really late in the recruiting process. Fans from Shaq’s other schools of interest (Alabama, ASU, Auburn, and others) began blowing up his Twitter until he retracted his interest with the following statement: “I was feeling SC, but I’m not liking SC anymore. People aren’t going to take me seriously, so why go there?”
The other side of a reaction is what happened when Ohio recruit 6-feet-5-inch, 300-pound OL Kyle Kalis decommitted from Ohio and committed to rival Michigan. He received immediate backlash on Twitter again and choose to respond differently than Shaq. He challenged his detractors “to come and meet me at my house.” Thankfully no one showed up, and Kyle has maintained his commitment to Michigan.
The take home for recruits is to really consider how public you want to make your recruiting decisions. As you should do with all big decisions, you want to have a close-knit group of people whose opinions you highly trust to help you, and that is it. Broadcasting your decisions is only going to invite more problems in an already difficult decision.