Follow an SEC coach for long enough on Twitter, and you’re bound to see it sooner or later.
Boom! Yahtzee! Yessir!
And you’ll know exactly what it means.
When a prospect commits to an SEC school, the responses from their coaches-to-be leave tremors in the Twittersphere.
From Gainesville to College Station and from Columbia, S.C., to Columbia, Mo., SEC coaches post their own distinctive tweets to celebrate new commitments. They’re short announcements, seemingly cryptic to outsiders but a clear message to the program’s fans: Help is on the way.
Unless, of course, the coach is Nick Saban. The famously all-business Crimson Tide coach doesn’t have a Twitter account, for recruiting or otherwise.
So the SEC’s coaching Twitter survey stands at one down, 13 to go.
The concept of coaches welcoming players via social media is unsurprisingly new, but for some aspects of the process, it’s easy to forget just how new. Until August 2016, NCAA rules tightly restricted coaches’ interactions with players on Twitter, prohibiting retweets of recruits.
It’s still debated just how much that rule change has affected recruiting, but it’s added one more layer of interest to college football’s Twitter world.
Sometimes, a tweet that’s small (even by Twitter standards) can draw big attention. Take the classic, explosive message tweeted with every Auburn commitment by Gus Malzahn:
Boom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! War Eagle!
— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) December 10, 2016
That’s right: A three-word tweet drew more than 900 retweets and 2,500 likes.
The reason for the mass response? That tweet came after quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s announcement that he was heading to Auburn from Baylor, potentially bringing an end to the years-long quarterback search on the Plains.
Malzahn has long been among the SEC’s top recruiting Twitter users, posting his regular “Boom!” messages even in the years before the social media arms race began:
— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) March 7, 2015
The real pioneer of the recruiting announcement in the SEC, though, is Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.
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