Social media changing the way WSU recruits

WHEN WASHINGTON STATE settles on their new Director of Player of Relations to replace the departed Jarrail Jackson, one thing is for certain, the new hire will be social media savvy.

Recruiting has always been a year-round endeavor but social media has significantly widened the scope, both in what schools can do and in terms of contact.

“There’s so much you can do now with social media with twitter, Instagram, Facebook,” WSU football chief of staff Dave Emerick told CF.C in a recent conversation.

Recruits these days will often post digitally their mailings from schools. And recruits are on their phones and devices 24/7, representing another opportunity within the rules to communicate -- both directly and publicly.

Meanwhile, color photos/graphics posted or sent in digital form are not subject to the same NCAA restrictions as ones that are printed and mailed since the cost of producing a digital item is virtually nil vs. printing that same item on glossy stock.

“Some of the guys who obviously did the best job with social media sign the most players,” said Emerick, who cited Ken Wilson and Joe Salave’a as big social media guys. “It’s such a big thing now, so that has to be a constant presence in your life… Even during time off (coaches) have to be conscious of their guys and stay in contact with them.”

Public video and infographics posted by schools on social media draw the attention of recruits, as seen from their retweets. That’s something the pending Director of Player of Relations hire at Washington State figures to be well aware of.

In the upcoming May Evaluation period that runs from April 15 - May 31, coaches are allowed to place one call to a recruit. It used to be Cougar coaches (and most other schools) would wait to make that call until late in the process. The goal was to stay fresher in the recruit’s mind.

Social media has completely changed that.

“You want to make the call earlier now,” said Emerick. “That way, you can start that relationship with the kid earlier and say ‘Hey, starting following me on twitter.’”

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