- Strong, or whomever at UT runs his Twitter account, took advantage of a relaxed social media policy that went into effect on Monday.
- Not wasting any time, Strong had a busy trigger finger on Monday, retweeting a string of 21 posts from prospects Texas is pursuing for its 2017 class.
- For those counting, 12 of the 14 non-UT commitments that Strong retweeted on Monday play on the defensive side of the ball.
Charlie Strong opened the week with some serious social media stalking.
Don’t worry, Texas fans: Your football coach was compliant and abided by NCAA rules when he dug deep into Twitter’s basement on Monday and resurfaced year-old announcements from recruits Sam Ehlinger and Walker Little.
Strong — or whomever at Texas runs his Twitter account, anyway — took advantage of a relaxed NCAA social media policy that went into effect on Monday permitting coaches to engage with prospective recruits by retweeting and liking/favoriting their posts. Previously, coaches’ interaction with recruits was limited to private messages kept away from the outside world.
Not wasting any time, Strong had a busy trigger finger on Day One, retweeting a string of 21 posts from prospects Texas is pursuing for its 2017 recruiting class. Among them was a tweet from Ehlinger in July 2015 in which the Westlake quarterback announced his commitment to UT by sharing a photo of himself as a little boy flashing the Horns Up. Strong searched even further to discover a May 2015 post from Little in which the Bellaire Episcopal offensive tackle revealed he had picked up his first offer from Texas.
Unheralded at that point, Little has grown into one of the state’s top players over the past year and is now the No. 3-ranked player on the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55. He reports more than 30 offers, and Strong has made him a priority.
— Sam Ehlinger (@sehlinger3) July 28, 2015
Blessed to receive my first offer from THE University of Texas!!!! pic.twitter.com/Nb2cCe1wA4
— Walker Little (@walkerlittle45) May 6, 2015
Coaches who stayed up late on Sunday began firing off retweets at midnight. Less than an hour later, Texas cornerback commitment Kobe Boyce had become overwhelmed by a crowded timeline. Boyce, of Lake Dallas, advised “yal coaches should go to sleep.”
Texas assistant Jeff Traylor didn’t listen; he retweeted Boyce.
Texas A&M quarterback Jake Hubenak delivered chuckles with a threat that he’s “About to have to go unfollow every college coach that I ever followed” with a GIF of Ari Gold from “Entourage” whipping his cell phone against a wall.
Good news, Jake. Twitter offers an option to disable a user’s retweets, so no need for a mass unfollowing.
Expect Strong’s retweets to serve as bread crumbs to the recruits with whom he’s most interested. First showing love to UT’s seven commitments for 2017, Strong got things underway with posts from Tyler John Tyler receiver Damion Miller, Ehlinger, Liberty-Eylau defensive end Lagaryonn Carson, Boyce, DeSoto offensive lineman Xavier Newman, Hooks safety Montrell Estell and Nacogdoches cornerback Josh Thompson.
From there, Strong targeted, in order, Galena Park North Shore defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson, Port Arthur Memorial cornerback Kary Vincent (LSU commit), Bellaire Episcopal defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, Temple defensive end Taquon Graham, Alabama defensive tackle Alec Jackson, Hutto defensive end Ondario Robinson, Georgia inside linebacker Tyler Taylor, Kennedale outside linebacker Baron Browning, Plano East inside linebacker Anthony Hines, Westlake outside linebacker Levi Jones, Florida outside linebacker Dylan Moses, Elkins outside linebacker Kenneth Murray, Little and Aledo offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga.
For those counting, 12 of the 14 non-UT commits that Strong retweeted play on defense.
Many of the posts were pro-UT, including a picture Moses shared of himself and Longhorns linebacker Malik Jefferson from his April visit to UT.
Though the change in policy will only further intensify already-heated recruiting battles, rules were added to keep coaches in check. For instance, they cannot tag a recruit’s Twitter handle in an original post. Additionally, it is forbidden for a coach to add any of his personal thoughts to a retweet.