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Debates on Greentree: How Much Do Fans Really Impact Recruiting?

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Are Social Media and Fan Interactions Affecting How Recruits View The Miami Hurricanes?

NCAA FOOTBALL: SEP 03 Florida A&M at Miami Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hey whats going on Canes Faithful!

Welcome back to the latest edition of Debates on Greentree where we take a recent hot topic and pull it a part to see different sides of an argument.

This past week, and change, the Hurricanes saw a very wild situation when, following the recommitment of Romello Brinson to Miami, (Welcome Back to the U, Mello!) a sleuth eyed Canes fan noticed something of great notation on Brinson’s Instagram Live Story. None other than Jake Garcia, current USC quarterback and commit and major Canes target was seen positively responding to Brinson’s commitment, as well as communicating with class ambassador Khalil Brantley on an IG Live he had the same evening.

As can happen, the interactions went viral.

Thusly, headlined by our Marsh Thomas and @Endogains, a hashtag campaign was born.

#GARCIATOTHEU

The two ambitious authors of the movement were able to engineer enough fan interaction and attention that the Hashtag was trending in Miami for at least 24 hours. The movement lead to major acknowledgement through the Miami Hurricanes community, inclusive of Canes coaches, Canes Legends Gino Torretta, Ken Dorsey and Brad Kaaya, and love sent back to the Canes Family from Jake Garcia and those within his circle.

The movement created a stir, and so much buzz, that major outlets such as the Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald and top recruiting firm 247 Sports all detailed the activity through their mediums.

What spun from this was a set of variations on the hashtag, carried from the viral momentum, that focused the energies to other recruits, such as Northwestern Bull Kamren Kinchens (#KinchensToTheU), Miami Palmetto’s Leonard Taylor and Corey Collier (#TaylorToTheU #CollierToTheU), and most notably top South Florida recruit for this cycle and former Miami Commit, James Williams (#WilliamsToTheU).

Do Fans REALLY Make A Difference?

As mention previous James Williams was a major recruit that saw major love from the Canes over the last week or so. First the hashtag caught fire, stirring another trend in Miami while catching the attention of Safeties Coach Ed Reed, Recruiting Coordinator Pop Cooney and the man himself James Williams. As social media has allowed players to do, Williams acknowledged the opportunity to give love back to the fans and re-shared a Miami Edit from last year featuring Canes Legend and Current Chief of Staff, Ed Reed, with the Phrase “Family” featured prominently in the tweet. The fervor would only boil over when Williams made a huge change of course, adding Miami to his top TWO teams when previously the Canes were not found in his top four.

The initial reaction is, did the viral nature of the attention paid to Williams afford Miami the return to Williams top 2? Or is there more at play?

Recently, Williams tweeted following the online commotion that these types of activities wouldn’t determine where he attended school. And there is merit to the idea much else was at the apex of his decision. Its easy to point to the Canes engaging offseason that features major momentum, starting with the hiring of Rhett Lashlee, the courting of D’Eriq King and flowing through to the recruiting success Miami has had this past month. Does it make more sense that these happening are the reason Williams is reconsidering Miami? The possibility that Miami could once again regain a winning form is extremely tempting for any recruit, and the pull it has on former commits is evident, with the returns of decommits Jacolby George and Brinson over the past weeks, so there is a great argument that it was just a coincidence.

However, I do think that it may be foolish to assume that there is absolutely no affect on recruits from these social media campaigns. If they had no affect I doubt players would take notice or even take the time to address it as a non factor. Many times it’s said that the mere attention gained by the target audience is proof that there is a tangible affect. This, among many interactions can prove to be an attractive side benefit to considering a Miami, whose fan base may be the most attentive in the nation. After seeing some take his words as excluding Miami entirely from competition, I was spurred to combat that notion as slightly irresponsible, and an admission as a factor that won’t dominate his decision making, rather than an eliminating tactic.

Even going back to the origin of the article, that centered around Jake Garcia, one has to assume that the action may have started a chain reaction within his process that reignited a desire to be THE quarterback in his class, rather than share with a Miller Moss as he is doing at USC. Or quite possibly the Lashlee affect is at play where we cannot see, and this was all a part of the plan.

What do you think Miami?

Does the fanbase mean more to recruiting than given credit?

Or is this much ado about nothing. Love to hear your thoughts.

And as always, Go Canes!!!

Poll

Does Fan Interaction Affect Recruiting

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    More Than We Think
    (55 votes)
  • 44%
    Less Than We Think
    (44 votes)
99 votes total Vote Now