Recruiting Guy:

Morris very Twitter friendly

By: Richard Davenport
Published: Friday, September 7, 2018
Arkansas coach Chad Morris speaks Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, during the annual Kickoff Luncheon at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas coach Chad Morris speaks Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, during the annual Kickoff Luncheon at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.

September 1 was the first day college football coaches could communicate with junior-class prospects via social media and University of Arkansas Coach Chad Morris was fully engaged in the process.

Assistant director of recruiting and graphic designer Cody Vincent and graphic designer Jake Nevill created 157 personalized graphics for juniors showing them wearing an Arkansas uniform exiting the tunnel at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Starting shortly after midnight Saturday morning, Morris personally sent 157 graphics to Arkansas targets by direct message on Twitter.

"It's crazy having a head coach so involved," Arkansas director of recruiting Taylor Edwards said. "He's up 12:45-1 o'clock that night making sure our top prospects are getting those individual graphics on his personal Twitter account because he wants that message coming from him. I think it all starts at the top."

Taylor, along with Vincent and director of on-campus recruiting operations Jessica Jefferson, worked together to ensure Morris had everything he needed before the graphics were sent out.

"I just made sure they had the list of the guys and Jessica made sure the information is right and Cody got him the stuff," Edwards said. "We all had a hand in it, but it all started at the top with Coach Morris no doubt."

Not all head coaches tend to their Twitter account like Morris.

"Unlike a lot of coaches, I feel like their Twitter accounts might be ran by some guy in the back room," Edwards said. "Coach Morris runs his own deal and post his own stuff so when you get a message or get a graphic from Coach Morris' Twitter account, it's from Coach Morris which is a very unique deal."

Prior to arriving at Arkansas, Edwards was a player personnel assistant at Alabama. Before arriving in Tuscaloosa, he was the director of player personnel at Samford, director of recruiting at Alabama-Birmingham and player personnel analyst at Jacksonville State.

Morris' involvement in all things recruiting is not the norm.

"I think it's something unique that I haven't been around before and goes to show what a genuine man he is whether, it's on or off the field," Edwards said.

Edwards said Morris motivates him and the staff.

"Having him have such a general interest and care of what's going on shows the importance and the drive," Edwards said. "It drives us as a recruiting staff and Cody and everyone that's involved in that process to make sure it's right."

Assistant director of football video and creative media Brooks Cockrell is in charge of the videos that are sent for prospects to view.

Morris being so involved in the graphics and video recruits see gives it a more personal touch when he communicates with the prospects.

"He knows what these kids are getting," Edwards said. "I've never seen somebody more detailed than he is. We sit in staff meetings and he's got an outline of that staff meeting. He always includes Cody and Brooks into that and wants to know what's coming out of their department and what they're working on because he may have an idea and he may want to spat off some different things and see what they think of it and get the ball rolling on something."

Edwards said Morris leads by example.

"He's one of those leaders that's not going to ask you to do anything either he doesn't do himself or hasn't done himself," Edwards said. "It goes to the social media side of things as well."

Email Richard Davenport at rdavenport@arkansasonline.com

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