The Tennessee Volunteers finished with the No. 5 recruiting class according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings despite a losing record. Tennessee head coach Butch Jones says the most important thing wasn’t the team’s record but rather the relationships between coaches and players that landed Tennessee the nation’s most surprising and in some ways impressive class.
How those relationships are formed is the biggest change in recruiting according to Jones who spoke to Sports Animal 99 on the growing role social media plays in building relationships with recruits.
“So many of these relationships in a recruiting class are built at an early age with all the different camps throughout the country,” Jones said. “They really start to build relationships. I think that’s the biggest different in recruiting. No matter what part of the country you’re from, you develop these relationships with these individuals because of the amount of camps they go to and Facebook and Twitter and all the social media things these individuals can do to build relationships.”
Go on Twitter and search for “VolNation” or “BrickbyBrick” and you will see thousands of tweets from die-hard Tennessee fans pledging their allegiance to their program, their coach and potential Volunteers.
Jones and Tennessee brought in 33 recruits and 14 of them are already enrolled in classes. Part of the reason this class was so large was in large part because of the recruits themselves who were extensions of the coaching staff and helped recruit others with Twitter being the vehicle.
“This is the most close-knit recruiting class I’ve ever been a part of, said Jones”