The deck already stacked against it, what the University of Kentucky football program doesn’t need right now is a self-inflicted wound on the recruiting trail.
That’s exactly what new quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw seemingly provided Tuesday night with a tweet directed at four-star quarterback Mac Jones, who announced that he was flipping his commitment from UK to Alabama.
Hinshaw, who took over as Jones’ primary recruiter when he was hired after the 2015 season, tweeted a quote from late religious leader James E. Faust shortly after the quarterback announced he was backing out of his UK commitment.
It was an example of what not to do after losing a recruit.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
“In this life, we have to make many choices,” the quote read. “Some are very important choices. Some are not. Many of our choices are between good and evil. The choices we make, however, determine to a large extent our happiness or our unhappiness, because we have to live with the consequences of our choices.”
Sub-tweeting at kids, it can’t lead to any good.
Mike Farrell, Rivals.com national analyst
Several UK fans criticized Hinshaw on social media, Alabama fans took delight in the apparent thin-skinned response, and Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin even retweeted it.
Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell was simply left perplexed.
“Sub-tweeting at kids, it can’t lead to any good,” Farrell told the Herald-Leader. “And I’m surprised that tweet is still up, honestly. What do you get out of that? Is a kid going to see that tweet and say, ‘Oh my God. What a mistake I’ve made. Good vs. Evil. I’m going to re-commit.’ No. Other kids are going to see that tweet. They know who it’s about. (Jones is) going to be a little bit ticked off. He’s going to tell everybody, ‘I saw the true colors of my quarterbacks coach after I decommitted. So I wouldn’t go there.’
“It just is not the thing to do. And I’m curious if (Mark) Stoops is going to come down on him a little bit, like (Kevin) Sumlin did at Texas A&M. Because that can hurt your recruiting.”
Farrell compared Hinshaw’s tweet to Texas A&M assistant coach Aaron Moorehead’s reaction to the Aggies losing the commitment of star quarterback Tate Martell earlier this year.
Moorehead, in a much more direct manner than Hinshaw, posted a series of tweets lamenting the lack of loyalty shown by recruits following Martell’s decommitment. Another A&M recruit decommitted as a result of those tweets, and Sumlin later announced that he had “disciplined” Moorehead for his actions, which the head coach said “abused the privilege of social media” and “reflected poorly” on the program and university.
Stoops declined to comment on Hinshaw’s tweet through a UK spokeswoman Wednesday.
“I can think of 100 negative outcomes. I cannot think of one positive outcome,” Farrell said of the Hinshaw tweet. “I can’t see one kid saying, ‘Yeah, Coach, you told him. BBN forever.’ It’s not going to get anybody to commit to you. Internally, you can call a kid anything you want. But don’t do it publicly.
“Of course you’re upset. You put a lot of effort into recruiting, and a kid flips to Alabama when he told you for months and months that he was loyal, wearing Kentucky gear all over, coming to your campus consistently and tweeting out photos and saying, ‘BBN for life.’ Yeah, but he’s 17. They change their minds like they change their underwear. You just have to chill with that stuff.”