SMU made headline news over at the "mothership" this week when their defensive coordinator tweeted out a photo of the official "SMU Football Twitter Update" analysis document. It is amazing.
We have a team of people who monitor what recruits are putting on social media. Watch what you tweet and retweet. pic.twitter.com/MNjrwSbuEd— SMU Coach Van Malone (@SMUCoachMalone) September 16, 2015
Now, the people who take recruiting far more seriously than I decided to debate the merits of monitoring 17 year-old boys on the internet for unseemly content.
Point 1: It's important to monitor because tweets shed insight into the mindset of an unpredictable yet valuable $500,000 potential investment.
Point 2: All 17 year-old boys are morons. Thus, paying a grown up real money to monitor these tweets and present an analysis in a professional format is hilarious.
Well, here's point 3. SMU's diligent online goon squad has given me a brilliant business idea that will change the face of recruiting and make both Underdog Dynasty and myself lots and lots of money.
Let's play the hypothetical game here. You're 17. You had a decent junior season in the backfield. Say, second team All League. But now you're the senior running back, and you'll be getting the bulk of the carries. Time to shine for the scouts.
So you pay money to go to 7-on-7 camps. You pay for a sprint coach. You pay to attend a combine training camp. You've started watching film without texting. Heck, you even started going to class.
The work is starting to pay off, and letters in the mail start rolling in.
But here's the catch. You have a lot of opinions. You really feel like you need a platform to give your takes about the Republican debate, prices of soda at the student store, or the fact the Becky didn't text you right when she got to the house party.
Finally, after one extremely passionate rant in which you decided on MF-ing some cold cheese fries, you notice the letters stop. "What happened?!" you'll ask the Tulsa special teams coach or the Utah State offensive coordinator, "I had 146 yards on 19 carries and 2 TDs on Friday."
"We're sorry, but we don't think you will be a good fit with the culture of our program, imaginary reader."
How could this have been avoided? By hiring Underdog Dynasty Social Media Recruiting Services.
Our pitch is simple. Our job is to get you that scholarship, or at least prevent you from losing that scholarship because you're an idiot online. Think of us like the sprint coach you've been meeting at the track on weekends. But, instead of dropping your 40 time, we keep the "real you" from recruiters everywhere.
Here's how it works. You install our app on your phone. The icon will look just like the Twitter app (except red), so it'll feel just like the real thing. Then, simply type in tweets as you typically do and click send.
What happens next? Well, instead of going directly out into the universe forever where your thoughts will ultimately land on a computer screen of SMU's defensive coordinator, they'll come directly to me and my staff of brilliant social media experts.
My team and I will use our knowledge and experience (read: not being 17) to rework your ideas into tweets that both avoid being red flagged and make you more desirable to recruiters.
Let's rework that example about those cold cheese fries. You thought it wise to express your displeasure through the comment:
"Hey student store, %$#& your mother%*&$ cold azz cheese fries #donewithyou".
Obviously you were upset at the time, and understandably so. But coaches don't want to see that. Trust us, we know. Coaches want composure and commitment to winning. So we'll take that tweet back into the UDD tweet lab and churn out something a little more desirable:
"Time to take my nutrition game to the next level. Cold cheese fries? #donewithyou #NoOffDays"
We've turned a negative into a positive, and you've been pulled from the "Red Flags" column and placed firmly in the "Mature For His Age" column.
Or what about this one, that was sent out mere minutes after a midterm exam?
Hey Mr. H, go take ur chemistry SHIT sumwer else! #Aintnobodygottime4dat
We totally get your frustrations. Tests can be a beast, and even we had a hard time in chemistry in high school. That said, your in-the-moment burst of Twitter rage can make you look like an ungrateful and insubordinate person, something coaches will he hesitant to deal with. What if, instead, we sent this out for you?
I wish my chemistry teacher would have more empathy for my academic issues #TheStruggleIsReal
Now, you're a student who is politely acknowledging your academic issues and your apparent differing viewpoint from that of your instructor, without turning something small into something big. Coaches love such respectful and polite young men.
We at the UDDSMRS do far more than nutrition and tests. We can rework your tweets from all angles, ranging from concerns over lack of playing time to relationship struggles to taking sides in a rap beef.
You really do need us, because the type of person you are perceived to be is pretty important. If SMU is putting together these types of analyses on their recruits, imagine what Alabama has on the five-star kids.
If the stakes of college football are going to continue to rise, an increasingly large degree of scrutiny will fall on coaching staffs and athletic departments regarding the quality of their players' character. The burden of big business trickles down to the players and therefore trickles down to recruits.
It makes sense that tweets will be monitored, just as it makes sense recruiters will want to talk to the high schoolers' teachers, coaches, and friends before making an offer.
Do poorly crafted tweets make you a bad person? Probably not, but they certainly don't make you an attractive one. For coaches, if a kid is incapable of presenting the illusion of being a decent person and playing good football, that's kind of important to know ahead of time.
So here are the options. You can hire a service such as ours to mask the fact your maturation isn't up to speed, or you can grow up and tweet thoughts that reflect back to a person that a recruiter might actually want.