In 2013, there should be few that doubt the power and efficiency of social media, but if you need anymore proof, just take a look at the recruitment of 2016 defensive tackle Rashan Gary.
It's rather early for a 2016 recruit to be receiving offers, let alone from one of the biggest programs in the country, but Gary has just recently received one from the Florida Gators.
It's a huge offer for Gary and it's impressive to say the least, but the story of how he got in touch with the Gators to receive the commitment is equally as impressive from a social media standpoint.
Barton Simmons of 247Sports reports on the unique offer situation:
A Facebook friendship led to an offer for rising sophomore Rashan Gary. After friending Florida rising sophomore D.J. Humphries on the social media site simply because he had admiration for the class of 2012’s top offesive tackle, his efforts paid off. Humphries messaged Gary telling him to get in contact with the Florida staff and after a 40 minute phone conversation, the 6-4, 285-pounder was told that he had an offer from Florida.
Social media has certainly changed the recruiting game and this is one of the main examples of that sentiment.
One could make the argument that Facebook directly impacted Gary getting this offer, and there was a point and time where that statement would have been unheard of. Now, it's becoming commonplace, and there is little doubt that this will not be the last big offer that originates via social media.
What makes this story really cool is D.J. Humphries took the time to reach out and help out an aspiring football player, and one can only imagine that the sentiment will be remembered when Gary actually has to make a decision on national signing day 2016.
Any advantage is an important advantage on the recruiting trail, and this is a story that could play into Florida's favor. The fact that Humphries was so helpful is big, but so was Florida's willingness to connect to Gary.
Other recruits may take notice.
As far as the future is concerned, Facebook and Twitter are the best ways to communicate (private messages obviously), but it wouldn't be surprising if another medium comes along that changes the social media game.
In fact, that should be a change that happens sooner rather than later, and that will change recruiting as well.
You think recruiting has changed lately? Just wait and see how it may evolve in the next ten years as technology and social media expand.
College football will have to continue to adapt and the rules will have to change. Coaches will have to evolve or at the very least employ a staff member or two that will be adept at social media and able to keep up with the changes.
When media changes, so will recruiting.
Some may fear change, but Gary's story is proof that not all change is bad.
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