January 8, 2010

Army All-Americans have fun with Facebook

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SAN ANTONIO - Lache Seastrunk has almost 3,000 friends on Facebook but the top-rated running back from Temple, Texas, admits he doesn't know the majority of them.

"I talk to everybody because I hate when people are arrogant and they think they're on top of the hill and you're too good to talk to them," Seastrunk said. "I want to be the kind of person you can come up and talk to me because I really enjoy people and I really enjoy making their day."

Seastrunk takes a positive approach to Facebook, the social networking site that has morphed into an attempt by some fans of certain programs to try to sway recruits - almost always unsuccessfully - to their favorite school.

Prospects here at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl said this week some whacky things happen on their Facebook pages. Seastrunk, rated as the fourth-best recruit by Rivals.com, is one of them.

"The craziest one was, 'We have really fine girls up here at Auburn,'" Seastrunk said. "I was like, wow."

Did it influence him?

"Hey, I have a girlfriend so I can't really say anything," he said.

Type 'Seantrel Henderson' into Facebook and the first three entries are: South Carolina wants Seantrel Henderson, Seantrel Henderson should stay in MINNESOTA and Seantrel Henderson Please Come To Florida State.

Henderson, the top-rated player by Rivals.com, is not considering any of those schools.

"It's crazy how technology is these days, everybody knows you and you don't even know them," Henderson said. "I'm like, wow, I can go here and people are saying Seantrel Henderson. It's a crazy experience. I accept everybody but it starts adding up. I have 1,400 friend requests right now."

Five-star defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd has a similar issue. The Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington standout has found a useful way to use Facebook though by telling coaches recruiting him that he prefers to communicate that way instead of with multiple phone calls.

Floyd said he usually gets 25-30 friend requests per day and he only knows about "20 percent" of his friends.

"I just go accept, accept, accept," Floyd said. "I don't talk to any of them. I get crazy e-mails like, 'Go here dude, you're a beast.' 'Dude, do you want to shock the world? You should go to Michigan.' I get all kinds of stuff like, 'Oh my God, you're huge' or 'You'd be a great fit at South Carolina.' It's ridiculous."

LSU commit Cassius Marsh, from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian, knows how outlandish Facebook comments can become. With one of the most rabid fan bases in college football, LSU fans can get a little out of control but Marsh said everything has been pretty tame so far. He also knew what he was getting involved with.

"The fans and the alumni like to try to get to know the players so they friend request you on Facebook and shout out and say, 'I can't wait to see you in a Tiger uniform,'" Marsh said. "

"It doesn't really bother me but then again there are a lot of fans out there, especially LSU fans are crazy. You have to know what you're dealing with when you commit to LSU. It doesn't bother me at all. It's nice. I'll shout them out or say something back. I always say something nice back. It's nice to see fans really care."

Some prospects might receive bitter comments from rival fan bases but that hasn't been the case for Marsh, rated as the No. 13 defensive tackle in the 2010 class.

"No one says I hope you fail or anything like that," Marsh said. "They'll say, 'Why didn't you pick USC?' 'Why didn't you pick UCLA?' Stuff like, 'Tennessee, that's the spot to be.' It's not like, 'I hope you tear your ACL.'

"I get a lot of friend requests from people I don't know but somewhere it will say, 'Go Tigers,' or something like that. Most of the time I know it's just a fan and I'll accept it. I don't care. Facebook is not all that serious to me."

For four-star cornerback Christian Bryant, though, it can be serious. The Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville standout said he's cognizant of everything that goes on his Facebook page - no risky pictures so no one gets the wrong idea.

Bryant said he has learned a lesson from other athletes' bad past experiences who have gotten burned by unwanted pictures in the media.

"You have to be (cautious) because I know there have been some players in the past that are getting caught with alcohol in pictures and girls in not-very-good pictures," Bryant said. "That's why I try to stay off stuff like that because it can get you in a lot of trouble in the long run.

"Fans all the time message me like, 'Go Spartans,' 'Go Bucks,' 'Go Tar Heels,' go everywhere. I really don't try to pay much attention to it. I know they mean the best. It's all in fun, right?"




 

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