You’ve seen plenty of Nebraska football recruiting targets and commitments sporting flashy images of high school uniforms giving way to scarlet and cream on Twitter. You’ve seen banners where it appears that recruits were waiting to pull the trigger, it was just a matter of time.
Introducing one of the hottest new trends to hit the recruiting scene: the work of graphic editors.
If you’re on Twitter these days, you’ve likely seen the work of Riley Milhon and Dylan Ozenbaugh, but you probably don’t associate their actual names with what they do. These two independent graphic artists, better known by their handles (@GBRDesigns and @cynicalHoss), give recruits a new digital spotlight.
It used to be that prospects would list a group of top five schools when speaking to a recruiting analyst and you had to pay good money to get that information.
While you still have to pay a premium for the reasons as to why a recruit is interested in a program, paring down lists has not only become a public event, it often goes beyond emojis when 140 characters are involved anymore.
Both Milhon and Ozenbaugh get flooded with requests from recruits asked for graphics representing new offers, a top five list and commitments. Milhon definitely keeps busy with his hobby.
I probably average about five to six different recruits every week. It depends all on the time of year. March, April, May are usually the downtime of the year. Once seven-on-sevens and camps start up, then I get busy. Late summer-February is when it gets up to around five guys per DAY.
Ozenbaugh isn’t a stranger to requests, either. He has recruits from various teams making requests on a near daily basis.
It doesn’t take years of studying to become a part of the graphic editing game anymore, either.
Milhon and Ozenbaugh are both in high school and simply share a passion for what they do. While some may question the ability of such young talent to remain respectful to the recruiting process, you might be surprised to find out that there is a high level of trust among these two designers and their peers.
“We (graphic editors) play a somewhat small role. We have no influence to where the recruits end up, I leave all the recruiting to the coaches.” Milhon stated. “I try to stay out of their personal life,” Ozenbaugh added.
Both expressed a commitment to keeping secrets safe and making sure that recruits have their time in the spotlight. The designers are simply there to make the experience a little more fun.
It seems like the next logical step for independent graphic editors would be video. For these two, whether or not that is in the immediate future seems to be up in the air.
Milhon points out the ability of sites like Bleacher Report which can produce videos with necessary equipment and the credibility to draw recruitniks to commitment videos like current Nebraska Cornhusker Lamar Jackson‘s last cycle versus what he has access to.
No name has been attached to the emotional and extremely well-done video that accompanied 2018 commit Bookie Radley-Hiles as of yet. However, considering that these two artists’ abilities have grown organically, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to suggest that the age of new videographers interacting with recruits might not be far behind.
Some critics suggest graphic editors shouldn’t insert themselves into the recruiting process by interacting with prospects.
There may be a bad apple that spoils the bunch, but it seems that Milhon and Ozenbaugh can both keep secrets and give recruits an even more enjoyable road to their eventual commitments.