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Monday, January 14, 2013
Georgia targets set record straight

By Radi Nabulsi

If you follow college football recruiting then you could not have missed how often news is reported “via Twitter.” More and more it seems that prospects are turning to Twitter to make announcements about their recruitment and those updates are breathlessly retweeted by passionate fanbases who follow these future college players.

A couple Georgia verbal commitments have found a new way to use Twitter to deal with an ugly side of the recruiting process: unfounded rumors.

UGA wide receiver commit Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) took to Twitter on Jan. 9 to deny that he had changed his mind about Georgia.

"I'm not sure how this got started but now you’re hearing from me,” LeMay tweeted.

Georgia linebacker commit Tim Kimbrough (Indianapolis, Ind./ Warren Central) used Twitter on Nov. 11 to forestall any rumors that he, too, was looking to flip from the Bulldogs to another program.

“Just letting everybody know right now, I will never decommit from #UGA,” Kimbrough tweeted.

Georgia targets have also turned to Twitter to set the record straight. ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) drove to Miami, Fla., after the Under Armour All-American game to watch Alabama take on Notre Dame for the national title. His presence at the game created a firestorm of speculation that Kamara was a silent commit to the Tide.

“I DID NOT COMMIT TO THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA,” Kamara tweeted on Jan. 13 in response to all of the rumors.

And that is the problem with Twitter. While the fans now have unprecedented access to updates from their favorite recruits that range from what they are eating to where they are going to college, there is also a lot of bad information on Twitter.

Another of Georgia’s top targets apparently joined Twitter recently and picked up more than 3000 followers in three days. It seems everyone wanted to know what Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) might say about his recruitment. The only problem was that @LaremyTunsil is a fake account. The same thing happened to Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson) and Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) recently. That is three of the top 12 players in the nation.

It is not a new phenomenon. Former Georgia tailback Isaiah Crowell had a fake Twitter account that picked up thousands of followers. Prior to that, many fans and reporters alike were fooled by fake Facebook pages. Or by a fake email in the case of FSU running back James Wilder Jr. which fooled a reporter into tweeting that Wilder had committed to Florida.

As the Georgia recruiting targets show, Twitter can be entertaining and informative but not always accurate.