A number of the nation's top college football recruits have run into trouble in recent weeks as a result of their Twitter accounts. As much as high-profile cases involving the likes of Yuri Wright, Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kallis might make it seem like every prospect in the country spends most of their time on the social networking site, at least one major recruit is conspicuous by his absence … and by who is tweeting in his place.
As first reported by ESPN's GatorNation site, Miramar (Fla.) High star Tracy Howard Jr. has passed off all Twitter duty throughout his recruiting to his mother. As the nation's top cornerback recruit -- and one of the top-15 overall recruits in the country, according to Rivals.com -- Howard Jr. had plenty on his plate without having to worry about potentially offending a coach by not responding quickly enough to their direct messages.
That's why Howard Jr. brought his mother into the fray to try and make sense of his social media situation. Shaiy Howard has since taken control, and is quick to deflect any accusations that she is stepping beyond her motherly bounds by intruding in her son's personal life.
"The bottom line is that he's 17 years old," Shaiy Howard told GatorNation. "Some people will say you are all in his business, and you need to stay out of his business. Well he's a kid, so he is my business."
Come Wednesday, Feb. 1, Howard Jr. will be her son with an official destination. The uber-recruit is expected to announce his decision between the likes of Florida, Alabama, Florida State, Miami, USC and West Virginia on National Signing Day, with his commitment potentially altering the strength of any one of those schools' recruiting classes significantly.
Naturally, fans of all those schools -- and plenty others -- are anxious to hear what Howard Jr. decides, and they aren't shy about combing through Twitter and Facebook to try and figure out where he stands on the decision at any given moment.
Regardless of which school Howard Jr. picks, his mother said that his family will stick with him and help keep things in perspective, just as she has throughout recent Twitter attacks from fans of schools who feel that a conference or in-state rival might be closer to landing the talented cornerback's signature.
"We are not making this decision for him, but we are with him -- looking at things with him," Shaiy Howard told GatorNation. "After Feb. 1, I'm sure all kinds of negative things will be said because Tracy didn't choose a certain school. But who cares? Certainly not Team Tracy Howard Jr."