RECRUITING: OSU, Riley take step forward

THE RECRUITING LANDSCAPE has been forever altered with the popularity of social media. And because of it, Mike Riley says Oregon State has never had as much contact and communication with prospects at this stage of the recruiting calendar as they have this year.

A prospect can pick up the phone and call a coach at any time. How often a coach can call a prospect, however, and when, is strictly limited by the NCAA.

The key in the early going has always been getting that prospect to call. And that's changed how Oregon State recruits.

"We've taken a step forward with what's legal and how to best communicate," Mike Riley told BF.C.

Ryan Gunderson played quarterback for the Beavs from 2003-07. He has been the Assistant Coordinator of Football Operations since 2010 and has played a key role in OSU's reshaping their recruiting processes.

"With Ryan and the Facebook and the tweeting, in a legal way and according to the rules, we've maintained better contact and communication through this early time of the year," said Riley.

How much better?

"I was able to talk to 60 kids through April," said Riley.

And five years ago?

"Not even half those kids through April. No, no chance. And we've been able to do that because of modern communication. And because of that we also had more visitors this spring by far than we've ever had," said Riley.

A rules change a few years back took head coaches off the road during the May Evaluation, which makes the number of prospects this spring coming to Corvallis, and calling Riley up on the phone, that much more important.

Riley also said the process of tweaking the way OSU recruits is ongoing, and that there are more things they're looking to "expand on" and figure to implement down the road.

In the meantime, Gunderson's efforts continue to allow OSU to communicate better than ever before.

"Ryan has really impacted our plan exactly as we had hoped, and utilized what's available better and better," said Riley.

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