LSU football made waves on social media with a series of hype videos in the weeks leading up to the team’s National Championship appearance against Clemson, but their final message before the game may be the most important of them all.
“I remember rock bottom, that’s why I know where I’m going. So let’s GEAUX.”
Those words, voiced by the one and only Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, undoubtedly serve as great motivation for the team’s players as they get their heads straight before the biggest moment of their collegiate careers.
But, it also signifies a mentality that has turned the program into the place to be in the college football world as the new decade begins.
Videos narrated by Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Shaquille O’Neal, John Goodman and Scott Van Pelt. Appearances by quarterback and Heisman winner Joe Burrow and head coach Ed Orgeron on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast. Viral videos with Orgeron interviews, impressions and quotes. Videos on the field that look like the Russo Brothers shot them for a new Avengers movie.
You name it, and the Tigers have probably had it happen over the last two months.
It may seem small, and many will argue that the quality of a product that shows up on Twitter or Instagram won’t translate to the product on the field. But, it adds up in areas where many may not remember to look, specifically as it relates to recruiting.
LSU locked down 19 recruits in December 2019, and added four-star recruit Dwight McGlothern to the fray in the first week of January. As a result, they wound up with a top-five recruiting class in the nation, according to 24/7 Sports, and landed a top-three class in the SEC.
While 24/7 Sports predicts the recruiting rank may go down next year, the team’s social media team may provide a push that allows LSU to remain as one of the best recruiting schools in the nation.
Players taking a look at the program will see a team ahead of its time as far as its influence on social media. They’ll see hype videos that Tom Brady and his Patriots teammates would be proud of, and the creation of life memories for players like Burrow, who has literally put the team on his back during his tenure in Louisiana.
It may seem silly to some, but we live in a generation where social media reigns supreme. What recruits see on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook is part of their decision-making process when it comes to where they’ll make their mark in the collegiate world, and where they’ll start their journey en route to a potential NFL career.
So, with that in mind, LSU made an investment in their future by enhancing their work on social media. They have the best cameras and editing resources, and a crew that is creative enough to capture moments like Burrow’s “Burreaux” walkout on senior night, or the moments in the locker room before a big game.
Think social media doesn’t matter to college football players? Tell that to Burrow and his 475,000 followers (as of January 13, 2020). Think the content a player’s team puts out doesn’t matter to the program’s players? Again, ask Burrow if he enjoyed the video of his walkout in his “Burreaux” jersey, which he posted a screenshot from to those hundreds of thousands of followers after the game.
Social media is changing the way the sports world operates, and don’t be surprised if other teams recognize that fact and invest more in their digital media resources over the next few seasons in hopes of increasing visibility among recruits.
Just like Burrow posted, it could change a player’s life, and help them achieve things they’ve been thinking about since they were a child.
“Death Valley…Where opponent’s dreams come to die,” Burrow said. “But where mine became a reality.”