The Emerging X-Factor In College Athletics Recruiting

It has become evident in recent years that Americans are becoming very online dependent. Smartphones are a hot commodity as nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners. (Smith) That statistic is one of the many reasons why Clemson and Ohio State’s football programs have added positions such as Director of New and Creative Media and Coordinator of Digital Content. Both programs are grabbing the proverbial bull by the horns and using social media as an avenue to connect with the nation’s top recruits.

In a Sports Illustrated article titled “Ohio State, Clemson competing in Fiesta Bowl … and on social media” senior writer, Pete Thamel, explained why Clemson and Ohio State are dominating the recruiting game because of their social media presence. In his article Thamel mentioned how since 2013 Clemson and Ohio State both added over a quarter of a million dollars annually to their payrolls. With emerging titles such as Director of New and Creative Media, Director of Football Operations and Creative Media, and Coordinator of Digital Content it’s safe to say the digital media has found its way into college athletics and it’s just the beginning.

The ideas both programs have come up the content they’re both creating are genius. In staying up to date with social media they’re able to channel behind the scenes content to the nation’s top recruits. Whether it be on Snapchat wearing “Snap Glasses”, Periscoping a practice, or Putting a Facebook Live up of the locker room before practice both programs are getting their faces out in front of recruits and they’re keeping them there. Social media has given college athletics programs the ability to make a student athlete feel a part of the team even if he or she is across the country.


Smith, Aaron. “U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015.” Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech. N.p., 01 Apr. 2015. Web. 12 Apr. 2017.