Sonny Dykes, Jacob Peeler talk about the new NCAA rules surrounding social media, plus the wide receiving corps

BERKELEY -- Cal inside receivers coach Jacob Peeler breaks down a young and talented group, and talks about the impact of new social media recruiting rules.


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BERKELEY -- Cal inside receivers coach Jacob Peeler admits that, with the new social media rules, he probably won't spend more time on Twitter than he already does.

"I don't think I possibly can," he laughed. But, social media is certainly an important tool for recruiting, and at midnight on Aug. 1, California head coach Sonny Dykes was retweeting the commitment tweets for his 2017 class, including Michael OnyemaobiJeremiah HawkinsTaariq JohnsonJe'Quari GodfreyAlex Funches and Chase GarbersDa'Quan Patton and Gabe Cherry.

While the Bears will utilize it, it won't be a focus, Dykes said. "Social media, in our world, is incredibly important, in the recruiting world; it just is," Dykes said. "That's the way young people communicate. The NCAA passes things sometimes without maybe thinking them through, at times. I think this could potentially be one of those issues where it doesn't seem like that big of a deal, but the practical application of it can create issues."

Dykes was mainly concerned about the possibility that coaches will retweet, without realizing what they're retweeting.

"All of the sudden," Dykes said, "that could represent your brand."

Coaches can favorite, like or retweet a recruit's social media posts, but cannot comment or publicly tweet at a recruit -- in shorthand, click, but don't type. Cal has long utilized Twitter direct messaging and text messages, so the amount of contact will not change, Peeler said. 

"With us, we talk to our players. We're not a flash deal. That's not what this University is about," Dykes said. "We'r not a flash and dash recruiting deal. We're not trying to get people to come here because of our uniforms. Those aren't the kind of kids that we're particularly interested in, in this program. The guys that we recruit, they're into social media. They're aware of it, but at the same time, they know what we're using to sell this University, and how we're doing it to recruit. We're like everybody else. We're involved in it. We're retweeting, we're doing all the stuff everyone else is doing, but we're not going to go overboard. I'm not going to spend my whole day retweeting guys' tweets, or retweeting their retweets. I just think the whole thing is a little bit silly. If that's the reason why someone's choosing a school, in my estimation, this is not the right school for them."

At the end of the day, Dykes said, recruiting is about college athletes getting an education.

"Sometimes, that's low on the list of priorities for a lot of other schools, and really, a lot of kids," Dykes said. "Hopefully, we recruit differently. Hopefully the kids recognize the difference, and hopefully, they're mature enough to know what our program is all about."

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