During an appearance on Jeff White’s Orange and Blue Podcast, Virginia football’s Director of Player Personnel Justin Anderson was asked just how big a part of the recruiting process has social media become? (Click here for the full podcast, which is a must-listen for UVA fans.)
“It’s everything now,” Anderson said. “I’ve got six kids. I’ve got a few daughters that are teenagers and social media is their form of communication now.”
Anderson acknowledged that there is a place for more traditional means of communication such as mail – more specifically, personal mail is appealing to recruits. Social media is king right now, though, and is important on many fronts.
“It helps us learn about kids as well,” Anderson explained to White. “We use that as an identification of personality or possible character issues you might look through, so we have people doing that, looking over their Twitter and Instagram. It’s funny, you know, Twitter is really big for certain things, but now we’re learning that this Instagram is becoming the huge form of communication for them.”
99 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff: No. 54 – Hoos’ Handle On Social Media Bodes Well For Future Recruiting
Ever since Bronco Mendenhall came on board as Virginia head coach, he and his staff have been very social media savvy. The Twitter/YouTube-driven #HoosRising movement on National Signing Day 2016 was a big success, lighting a significant spark in what otherwise would have been a relatively uneventful Signing Day.
In an interview with TheSabre.com, Virginia running backs coach Mark Atuaia noted that the staff performs extensive research into social media – what to tweet to recruits, etc. Anderson’s comments above further emphasize Coach Mendenhall’s commitment in this arena.
Virginia has done a good job of getting recruits’ attention through tweets. No, they don’t all commit as a result, but it’s still significant. Here are some examples …
— Kendrell Scurry 🇨🇦 (@D1Scurry) July 11, 2018
— Justin Harris 3️⃣ (@Jt_harris11) April 11, 2018
— Rambo ®⚠️🦈 (@0vo_dsean) February 15, 2018
Most of the Virginia coaching staff is active on Twitter. The official Virginia Football Twitter account is doing a good job of producing videos and photos of what the team has been up to as well.
— Bronco Mendenhall (@UVACoachBronco) July 9, 2018
This week the fellas learn to grill steak kebabs. Yum! pic.twitter.com/Pdj7X3aRsR
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) July 12, 2018
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) July 9, 2018
THOR-TERBACK in the making 💪⚔️🏈 pic.twitter.com/ftmiOQqQbQ
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) July 5, 2018
Recently, some of Virginia’s commitments have begun posting the below tweets. Time will tell, but in terms of delivering what stands out about the University of Virginia, this could prove to be effective in gaining the consideration of other prospects.
I’m extremely excited to announce that I’m fully committed to The University of Virginia!!!!🔷⚔️🔶 @UVAFootball @RickyBrumfield @JamieOakes247 @Garret @LGBravesFB @zku65 @Coach2J @principalRVann #Wahoos! #GoCavs🔷⚔️🔶 pic.twitter.com/ovgWvrl4R3
— Zachary Teter (@Teter_Tot) July 1, 2018
— Kariem Al Soufi (@kariem_soufi) June 30, 2018
— Justin Duenkel (@justin_duenkel) June 24, 2018
Virginia’s social media-savviness is of course not the only piece of the recruiting puzzle. Winning is, as always, the biggest factor in drawing recruits. However, given how thorough the staff appears to be in evaluating and exploring all aspects of recruiting, if/when the wins start coming you should see recruiting get better and better.
The “99 Virginia Football Thoughts Before Kickoff” series has discussed much more. The previous articles are below. Click away.
- No. 99 – The importance of a fast start
- No. 98 – The impact of early-ending careers
- No. 97 – Jordan Mack’s role
- No. 96 – Welcome Back
- No. 95 – Han Solo Says
- No. 94 -Smart Addition
- No. 93 – The Center Spot
- No. 92 – Finding A Punt Returner
- No. 91 – Facing Running Quarterbacks
- No. 90 – Interceptions
- No. 89 – Kickoff Times
- No. 88 – QB Optimism Not Enough To Tilt Early Predictions Too Far
- No. 87 – It Starts With Jordan Ellis
- No. 86 – Virginia’s Most Dangerous Game
- No. 85 – The Tight End Swan Song?
- No. 84 – Teach A Man To Fish
- No. 83 – No Ordinary Joe
- No. 82 – Now Or Then
- No. 81 – How To Treat The Kickoff Rule Change
- No. 80 – Play, But Still Redshirt
- No. 79 – Which Red Zone Offense Is The Real One?
- No. 78 – Schedule For Success
- No. 77 – Who’s The Worst?
- No. 76 – ACC Coach Rankings
- No. 75 – Keep That Cold Weather Gear
- No. 74 – 1,000 Target For OZ
- No. 73 – Cross Out Cross-Training For Cross
- No. 72 – Punting Plans
- No. 71 – Redshirted … Ready?
- No. 70 – A June Jolt
- No. 69 – Who?
- No. 68 – Stops To Start Second Half
- No. 67 – Root, Root, Root For …
- No. 66 – Wildcard Extras
- No. 65 – Defense Showed Red Zone Improvement
- No. 64 – Welcome Back, Mr. Robinson
- No. 63 – The Florida Footprint
- No. 62 – True Freshmen Will Play, But Who Will Make The Most Impact?
- No. 61 – Four Fireworks-Worthy Moments In The Bronco Mendenhall Era
- No. 60 – Juan Thornhill Primed For An All-ACC Caliber Season
- No. 59 – Rebuilding The Offensive Line Is On Schedule
- No. 58 – Bouncing Back On The Defensive Line
- No. 57 – Underrated Hoos
- No. 56 – Lordy, Lordy, How ‘Bout 40?
- No. 55 – Peace Talk