It’s not just going on Google, picking the first three or four photos that pop up and hitting the “send tweet” button. It can be, sure. You can sometimes glean where that specific team stands on a prospects board by just how much thought is put into the offer tweet.
Christopher Paul Jr., a 3-star linebacker commit in Nebraska’s class of 2021, has a process.
“For me, I’m a defensive guy, so what I did when I received an offer from Nebraska was I went on and I found a defensive picture—and that goes for any offer—I type linebackers in the picture and it’ll bring up a linebacker beating on his chest or making a tackle or anything like that,” he said. “That’s really my thought process.”
There’s a checklist: find a picture of the helmet, find a picture of a defensive player (preferably a linebacker) making a play, find a picture of the mascot.
“Any cool picture of a defensive player making that tackle, that’s what’s going on there,” he says.
Henry Lutovsky puts a different kind of tackle in his pictures because, yes, he has a process, too. Another of Nebraska’s 2021 commits, Lutovsky plays on the offensive line, so he needs a picture of the line, a picture of the stadium and the logo. “I think about it a little bit,” he says.
(The best tweets are ones that include a background-free image file, which Twitter shows with the checkerboard behind. These are objectively wonderful.)
It’s admittedly a weird question to be going around asking recruits what kind of thought process they have when it comes to sharing with the world their latest offer. But those are the times we’re living in now—weird. There isn’t much else going on, and yet recruiting keeps on rolling. Guys are getting offers and guys are committing at a breakneck pace.
Follow college football enough—doesn’t even have to be recruiting specifically—and those offer tweets are going to pop up everywhere.
Some kids want to say thank you and make little more fuss than that. Sometimes they serve as inspiration, sometimes the absence of them can do that as well.
On the other side of it, though, is a different feeling. A small gesture, and a sometimes completely unintentional shoutout, but a cool moment nonetheless.
What happens when you’re the guy who pops up in someone else’s tweet? When your picture or your tackle or your run out of the tunnel is one of the pictures someone selects?
“It actually happened a few times,” said former Husker defensive tackle and future San Francisco 49er Darrion Daniels. Once with a recruit Daniels knew after he got an offer to play at Oklahoma State. The reaction is the same all around: “Dang.”
“I know for a fact Darrion Daniels isn’t the first picture that pops up when you type in Nebraska or Oklahoma State. For them to take time and look for a picture, it makes me feel special. Or even to go to my page and save a picture just to post it, that makes me feel good that somebody’s actually watching me.”
Lamar Jackson is with the Jets now, but for the better part of the last four years he’s had one side of Nebraska’s secondary all to himself. Plenty of time to make plays, plenty of opportunity to make Kodak moments.
“I had a helluva name at Nebraska, everybody followed my journey,” he defensive back said. “Why not just throw Lamar Jackson up there with the Nebraska “N” and make the offer seem that much bigger?”
That picture Jackson uses as his profile photo on Twitter? That one’s popular with defensive backs getting recruited to Nebraska, or defensive players getting recruited to Nebraska, or players getting recruited to Nebraska. It’s a good photo.
Jackson says he’s from the same generation. Gotta make him feel old, though, right?
“Not old, but I’m aware that the time’s flying,” he says with a laugh. “I wouldn’t say I feel old but it just makes me look back like, ‘Dang, I remember when that was me.’”
Wan’Dale Robinson does, too. For him, it wasn’t that long ago at all. And after just one season in Lincoln, the wideout has already started building a name for himself. Think back to when Nebraska announced its new facility project, Robinson was the guy sitting up on stage with head coach Scott Frost representing the football team. In a lot of ways, he’s the face of the program.
High school kids know that, especially the ones in the Kentucky area.
— Wan’Dale Robinson (@wanda1erobinson) April 13, 2020
"It's kind of awesome because I always thought about that,” Robinson said when asked about seeing himself in others’ news. “I used to wonder whenever I go play college football if I'd have people use my picture with their offers. I've used somebody's picture that I always want to use. Whenever I knew if I was getting an offer from a certain school, I knew what guy I would post with it. It's kind of crazy to think that kids are doing that too with me.”
Derek is a newbie on the Hail Varsity staff covering Husker athletics. In college, he was best known as ‘that guy from Twitter.’ He has covered a Sugar Bowl, a tennis national championship and almost everything in between (except an NCAA men’s basketball tournament game… *tears*). In his spare time, he can be found arguing with literally anyone about sports.