Warrior athletics utilizes social media for recruitment

Maurice Hudson, sports editor

Social media. It is where we go to get our daily news.
It is how we communicate with our friends and family.
It is what we do to waste time and get away.
Like it or not, social media plays an immense role in our day-to-day lives.
When it comes to recruiting high school athletes, social media is also going to play a big role in their college recruitment process.
Whether it is through Instagram, Twitter or even Snapchat, social media has now been implemened into every aspect of the recruiting process.
Social media also gives college students and fans a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the recruitment process, as prospects and recruiters live-tweet and Instagram their in-home and official visits.
In addition to that, social media tears down geographical barriers, as recruits from all corners of the country have access to coaches and recruits, they would not have been able to before.
Social media has become a vehicle for programs to build excitement around Winona State’s recruiting efforts, as fans track the movements of coaches in late Jan. as they jet from one destination to another in search of the next blue chipper.
When a prospect schedules a visit to Winona State or commits, rounds of well-wishes and “good lucks” come in.
Along with the praise, the upset and dissentful replies from the fans of the school(s) that got left at the altar come in too.
And when a recruit backs away from a pledge, it can get ugly as well.
Sawyer said few players have decided to go other places to play after committing to Winona State University and fans have different methods of displaying their disappointment.
The role of social media helps the university’s athletic program connect with the high school students and relate to the school.
Especially amid COVID-19, recruiting and reaching out to students without social media is deemed virtually impossible in these circumstances.
Winona State’s football head coach, Tom Sawyer, said the program has struggled with connecting and reaching out to certain recruits due to the situation.
Sawyer said he and the program have had struggles locking potential players due to COVID and the uncertainties of sports in the future.
Sawyer said they are going to have to be willing to adapt and take different routes to getting recruited players.
“The recruiting side needs to be pickier on who we [Winona State] sign,” Sawyer said. “We need to spend more time with the top kids and try to get the kids we really want. We can’t settle.”
The use of social media for recruitment gives the athletic program more access to student recruits, no matter how far away they are from Winona.
“If you want to be a good recruiter in today’s college athletics, you have to be on social media,” Sawyer said. “If you’re not doing it, you’re going to get beat by somebody that’s doing it. You have to be out there, you have to be different and you have to be completely visible and be accessible, and the best way to do that in today’s recruiting world is through social media.”