FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The beginning of August brought with it a significant change to the recruiting landscape on social media, and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is fully on board.
Since Monday, college football coaches have been allowed to like, favorite and republish prospects on social media as a result of NCAA proposal 2015-48.
Bielema took advantage by retweeting the Twitter commitment announcements of the 19 prospects who have announced their pledges to the Razorbacks’ 2017 class.
“The world of recruiting has changed,” Bielema said Thursday, the first day of practice for the Razorbacks. “As the new rules took into place (Monday) … my goodness. My phone was blowing up.”
Bielema said he likes the new rules, and the use of social media as a recruiting tool, because it gives his program unprecedented access to recruits.
“It’s just an endless resource of ability for you to recruit,” Bielema said. “It’s just amazing. I think certain kids, you really can play to that. Kids that get hot, and you can press them and stay with them and stay on them and getting them thinking about the Razorbacks.”
Bielema also said he’s a fan of another sometimes controversial recruiting tool — satellite camps. The Razorbacks took part in several such camps this summer, including in Atlanta and Houston.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that satellite camps have helped the Arkansas Razorbacks, all joking aside,” Bielema said. “The ones we went to were very productive; not only got us commitments for this season, but also prospects for the year ahead. Not just seniors, but juniors, sophomores and in a couple kids’ cases, freshmen.”
However, the fourth-year Arkansas head coach does have some concerns about the new age of recruiting — specifically how easy it can be to unknowingly commit a violation.
“Well, our compliance does a great job of literally daily sending us information and tips,” Bielema said. “I’m constantly aware. My coaches know, bottom-line, we’re never going to lie to you or steal to get someone here. That point is pretty well-established in our program. If you have to do that to get someone in your program, I think you’re setting a precedent that once they’re there, you can’t overcome. The only one I worry about, to be quite honest, is the violations that you don’t even realize you’re violating. That scares me.”