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The Power of Social Media in Collegiate Recruiting

Year : 

Panelists: Coach Tommy Thigpen, Linebackers Coach, UT Football, Zac Ellis, Writer, Sports Illustrated,, Brent Hubbs,, & Moderator Michael Spencer, Sports Director at WATE

Biography: Tommy Thigpen, coached and played in seven bowl games in his career including Vols 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl Championship team. He spent 2009-12 seasons in the SEC at Auburn, winning the 2010 season BCS Championship. Thigpen was named the National Recruiter of the Year a second time by in 2013 after helping to sign the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation. Before coming to The University of Tennessee Knoxville, he worked as Tigers' linebackers coach in 2012 after serving as safeties coach from 2009-11. He previously coached at Illinois and Bowling Green. After an All-ACC career at UNC, was drafted by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 1993 draft. He also played for the Barcelona Dragons in the World League of American Football in 1995-96. Thigpen and his wife, Jacinda, have two children, Asia and Naja.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @UTCoachThig

zacellisBiography: Zac Ellis (BS/JEM '11) Zac Ellis is a writer for Sports Illustrated and He has been with SI since 2011, where he primarily covers college football and serves as's primary Heisman Trophy writer. A Knoxville native, Zac served as editor of The Daily Beacon and Scoop Magazine while at UT.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @ZacEllis

Brent HubbsBiography: Brent Hubbs began doing the website in January of 2000 and over that time the website has gone from zero paid subscribers to over 7600. The site is one of the five biggest in the network which is owned by Yahoo. Prior to starting the website he worked for WIVK radio producing and reporting for the show Sportstalk. He has been covering football recruiting since 1994.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @Brent_Hubbs, @Volquest_Rivals

Michael SpencerBiography: Michael Spencer will be our moderator for this session. Michael graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2010. He's currently the Sports Director at WATE Six On Your Side. Before moving to Knoxville, Michael worked as a sports broadcaster in Midland, Texas and Amarillo, Texas.

Social Media Accounts: Twitter| @WATEMichael

Session Description: More than ever before social media is playing a key role in the recruitment of high school athletes. This panel will explore the use of social media from various "players" in the collegiate recruiting world. From Twitter to Pinterest, social channels continue to shake up national signing days.