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MCHS football turns to Twitter to help athletes get recruited

July 09, 2021 - 00:00
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    For every athlete MoCo Recruiting Twitter promotes, they create infographics to help share the athletes’ information to college recruiters. SCREENSHOT
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    Max Gaubert is the offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator for the Morgan County football team. CONTRIBUTED

It’s always been a tall task for the majority of high school student-athletes to be exposed to colleges and universities when being recruited. Add in a global pandemic that restricted access for such athletes to get exposed to more colleges and it brings about another level of difficulty.

So, Morgan County football did something about it.

Max Gaubert, the offensive line coach, started the Morgan County recruiting Twitter account in January 2021. The Twitter account serves as the official recruiting page of the Morgan County High School football team.

Since its inception, the Twitter account, with the Twitter handle @ MOCORecruiting, has 371 followers and has sent out 132 tweets.

When Gaubert pitched the idea to then head coach, Bill Malone, and defensive coordinator, Brett Bell, he said there was only one goal in mind.

“Just trying to get some kids recruited in the 2021 class,” Gaubert said. “With COVID, I noticed it wasn’t happening. I talked to Brett [Bell] and coach [Bill] Malone at the time and we decided to do it.”

Gaubert said Twitter was the obvious choice for a social media account. He said it’s simply easier to communicate with coaches via Twitter versus other mediums. And, for an account that sends approximately 100 messages a week, that’s a huge deal.

“Twitter is the easiest way to send films,” Gaubert said. “If I send a Hudl link through email, coaches click on it and have to watch an advertisement. But, if I send it through Twitter, the video plays automatically.”

Though Gaubert originally pitched it to Malone and Bell, he admitted that it was based on another school’s Twitter account.

Just 20 miles down the road, Oconee County High School football has its own Twitter account, too. Gaubert got the plan for MCHS’s Twitter after seeing what OCHS had done with theirs.

But it has since evolved. Now, MCHS’s Twitter is more active in the offseason and is either tweeting something out daily or posting content on fleet.

Given the fact that Gaubert played at the college level after graduating from North Oconee High School in 2012, he has multiple connections.

For instance, Gaubert has reached out to Kevin Weston, the outside linebackers coach at The Citadel. Weston has shown what coaches are looking for in recruiting and how to contact them. Above all, Gaubert said that Weston has given tips on how to get feedback from college coaches.

“He broke down the climate of recruiting today,” Gaubert said. “I really just educated myself on the recruiting process and I shared that information with the parents.”

Gaubert will tweet out each player’s Hudl link (which is a player’s highlight tape), grade point average, what position(s) they play and more.

So far, it has been a success. A couple of players in the class of 2021 have picked up offers.

Chance Reid, in particular, has received offers from Furman University, Campbell University and Army. Reid is currently committed to the Air Force, though, after he tweeted out his decision on June 10.

According to Reid, he doesn’t know how prosperous the recruitment process would’ve been without the help of Gaubert and the MoCo Recruiting Twitter.

“I probably wouldn’t have gotten any offers if it wasn’t for coach Gaubert,” Reid said. “He was pulling the right strings and talking to the right people. He got me some really good offers.”

With students like Reid, Gaubert offers some advice from his playing days in addition to what his college connections share with him.

As a matter of fact, Gaubert remembers watching film with his offensive line coach while playing at Tucson University. There’s a particular story Gaubert said he shares with his players even today.

It isn’t an example of what to do when one is being recruited, it’s an example of what not to do.

“When I was in college, I was in with my offensive line coach while he was watching film,” Gaubert said. “And this kid put a song on his highlight tape that was awful. As soon as the song started playing, my coach closed out the tape. I remember that vividly when I was putting together some tape for these guys.”

Gaubert constantly voices the importance of keeping it simple.

Now, while it has been fun for Gaubert to help Morgan County players get exposed to more college recruiters, he recognizes that the Twitter account doesn’t solve all of the problems.

On top of the limitations COVID-19 currently places on recruiting, Gaubert pointed back to the film aspect as another issue Twitter still cannot solve.

Though Gaubert mentioned push back from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) with their rules and regulations in recruiting, he placed the issue of film above that.

For instance, Gaubert recalls a player who was injured his junior year. Therefore, that particular player’s highlight reel is a minute to a minute and a half shorter than a normal reel. So, a recruiter doesn’t get to see that player compete as much as other players.

Which, as a result, brings less attention to such athletes and less traffic to the Twitter account.

“I have seen some success,” Gaubert said. “But still, with everything going on, it’s a battle. I still enjoy doing it, but I send more emails than I get responses.”

With that being said, Gaubert plans to make some changes to the account when the season kicks off versus Putnam County on Aug. 27.

He even plans to help give the players more of a voice in posting content.

Following every game on Friday nights, each player will get a sheet to fill out. They’ll be tasked with watching game film and picking out every play they want to include in their highlight tape. That way, Gaubert can push that content out every week.

“They’ll have the first game, second game, first half of the season highlights and more,” Gaubert said. “I think that’ll be productive.”

Gaubert said the student-athletes at MCHS make his job easier, too, because he mentioned how special the students are on and off the field.

“They’re good kids,” Gaubert said. “It’s not like I’m trying to promote a kid that has a terrible attitude or has bad grades.”

Now, as the country seems to be on the downhill stretch of the pandemic and more restrictions are being lifted, Gaubert doesn’t plan on deactivating the Twitter account.

As a matter of fact, he plans to do more in the future.

Current head coach, Clint Jenkins has given Gaubert the green light to do more, too. Because, as of May 26, Gaubert was named the football team’s recruiting coordinator.

With the new title, Gaubert has made it his personal mission to educate himself more on other mediums to help promote MCHS student-athletes. He’s noticed other schools and players use sites like Virtual Combine, Field Level and Roster Spot.

He wants to learn as much as he can about all that’s out there in the recruiting world not only help the students but also to help the parents.

When Gaubert was reaching out to schools back in 2012 about his own recruitment, he recalls it being a ‘shot in the dark’ when he would send stuff out. He wants to help students avoid that and give themselves realistic chances to play at the next level.

At the end of the day, that’s all Gaubert wanted to accomplish by creating the MoCo Recruiting Twitter account.

“I just wanted to do something to help promote our guys,” Gaubert said. “Knowing that their name is on the board somewhere is a good feeling. So, we’re heading in the right direction.”