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Thursday, October 17, 2013
Early Offer: Riley is social media savvy

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Oregon State coach Mike Riley launched a new Twitter campaign on Tuesday to help the Beavers connect with recruits across the country; LSU’s Frank Wilson didn’t make the first edition of the ESPN recruiting power rankings, but he could be leading the poll by signing day; and a question and answer session on Wednesday helped identify what topics are most important with recruiting fans today.

#SmartRecruitingTool
Oregon State coach Mike Riley has more than 18,900 followers and is great communicating with fans on Twitter. So it was no surprise to see him launch a campaign Tuesday called “Tweet Film Tuesday” where he asked recruits to send him links to their film, and he and his staffers will then select 10 recruits to evaluate each week. With only 140 characters to work with, Riley didn’t explain how he and his assistants would pick the 10 recruits to evaluate, but the idea is ingenious. Not only does it help Riley and the Beaver coaches communicate with prospects in a way they’re already familiar with, it also allows the OSU coaches to find prospects they might not have been familiar with who are truly interested in the program. Also with Riley’s track record of uncovering hidden talent, you can all but guarantee there will be a story a few years down the road where the Beavers found a sleeper through this approach.

Keep an eye on these recruiters
On Wednesday, we unveiled the ESPN recruiter power rankings and it included household names like Travaris Robinson of Florida, Jeremy Pruitt of Florida State, Bill Napier of Alabama and seven other elite recruiters. With it only mid-October, the list likely will look quite a bit different around national signing day. Here are a few other names to keep an eye on: Tim Brewster of Florida State, Michael Barrow of Miami, Clarence McKinney of Texas A&M, Derrick Nix of Ole Miss, Doug Nussmeier of Alabama, Kirby Smart of Alabama and Frank Wilson of LSU. All of those recruiters have tremendous resumes, but watch out for Wilson. His best returns might still be ahead because he’s the key recruiter for elite recruits like Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine), Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian), Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr), Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr), D'haquille Williams (Laplace, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) and a host of others for the Tigers.

Asked and answered

On Wednesday, I participated in an Ask Me Anything chat on Reddit.com, and there were some tremendous big picture questions about college football recruiting that would be of interest to recruitniks all over the country. I enjoyed diving deep into some of the recruiting philosophy questions and the session really gave me a good idea of what topics are important to college football fans. From the questions, the biggest things on fans minds are how ESPN ranks prospects, potential recruiting rule changes, how the industry has changed over the last 10 years and what makes a great recruiter. That was just a few of the topics, so check it out if you have a chance.