How Wacky Hashtags and Twitter Nicknames Have Taken Over The College Football Recruiting World
Updated: May 29, 2020
Written by Tommy Gun
College football fans celebrated their favorite annual holiday this past week – National Letter of Intent Day. Though, the newly created Early Signing Day has taken the luster off of this holiday, the first Wednesday of February still holds great significance in this wonderful sport.
Fan bases around the country are feeling a renewed sense of optimism as their program brought in “underrated gems” and “guys that fit the coach’s system.” (We’re excluding the 1% ala Clemson, Bama, etc.) I’m not here to tell you about how underrated your teams 3-star kicker is though, or about how your favorite team only brought in young men who are “high character guys.” No, that’s what you overpay Rivals and 24/7 to hear.
Recruiting has always been a sleazy business (See “The Pony Express”), but now with social media platforms available and 365-day coverage, this train has gone off the rails and quite frankly, has just become downright lame.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Follow me… You’re about to see how silly you really are for following this shit.
“In Desperation Move, FSU Reluctantly Summons Godzilla to Fight Evil Monster, Clemson!”
You’re probably thinking, what the F*** did I just read? Okay, don’t take the headline literally, but it’s not far off from the truth. A recent Florida State linebacker commit apparently refers to himself as…
This isn’t meant to pile on this kid, who, by all accounts is a remarkable talent. He’s just following a trend. But when did it become cool for an 18-year-old to refer to themselves as Godzilla? For the record, I used to love that fire breathing dinosaur, but I quickly learned to put him on the shelf when my Japanese ex-girlfriend dumped me for admitting so.
Recruits often create alter egos for themselves, with names like “The Villain” or “Hundo Savage Baller” (Made that one up but I’m sure it exists), or for a recent Miami(FL) commit – “The Real Rooster”.
Nicknames are cool and all, but I think the bottom line is, can’t we come up with something a little better than calling ourselves a male chicken or an imaginary monster? What happened to the good ol' days when we had "Sweetness" Walter Peyton, "Prime Time" Deion Sanders, or "Ironhead" Craig Heyward?
This brings me to my next incredibly lame recent phenomena, #hashtags. College football coaches around the country have gone full teenage girl mode, creating catchy hashtags for each recruiting class. The only problem is, the hashtags are getting worse and worse. I guess that’s what happens when you leave middle age men to create a hip trend?
Pittsburgh’s own, Pat Narduzzi created this gem:
How about #2manycharacters? Pat, you could have just stopped at “Pitt is It.” One thing is for
certain, Pitt’s Sustainability Department can’t be pleased.
Next up, we have Texas assistant coach, Bryan Carrington, displaying their 2021 hashtag – #trUTh21.
Here's some truth Bryan, Oklahoma has won head-to-head 8 out of the last 11 times the two rivals have played, and Texas has not won the Big-12 in the last decade. While we are on Texas, please enjoy these cringe worthy Tom Herman moments:
Call me old school, but maybe putting a little less effort into clever hashtags would be beneficial until you can actual provide consistent results on the field? Gotta win twitter though, right?
Finally, can we please talk about coaches posing with recruits? I’m all for getting a nice picture with a potential future player, but when you start throwing up the trendy hand gestures and all that other bull crap, doesn’t it just look like pandering? It’s just lame. Look at UF coach Dan Mullen below:
Who the hell on the Gators social media team picked that wardrobe? I understand you want to stick to the team colors, but khakis tucked into a bright orange belt is not a good look. Also, those shoes are awful. Sorry Air Jordan fans, but it's not cool to be a sneakerhead when you're older than 16.
I don’t even have words for this picture from Kansas State:
You’re probably wondering to yourself, “Gosh, what happened to the days of coaches bidding cars, women, and cash?” Well, those days haven’t gone away either (See Alabama, Clemson, Georgia). But doesn’t all of this goofy social media pandering just seem so silly? Add on top of that, the fact that grown men have to pay to follow this process, how does it even stay afloat?
The answer is quite simple. When you wake up on a crisp, fall Saturday morning, pour yourself a hot cup of coffee (or crack an IC Light), turn on your TV and hear Lee Corso’s incoherent babbling with cheerleaders doing splits in the background, you know it's going to be a good day.
When you sink yourself into the couch knowing that for the next 12 hours you get non-stop passion, pageantry, and tradition that just doesn’t exist in any other sport, coupled with the fact that you STILL have Sunday and the NFL to look forward to, a better feeling simply doesn’t exist. And it’s all fueled by those goofy 18-year-old recruits and pandering middle aged men. Come back soon, college football.