Shaq Thompson is one of the nation's top recruits. An uber-athlete who currently is ranked as the nation's top safety prospect, Thompson would be an absolute monster recruit for any major national collegiate football program to land, the kind of star who could come in and potentially start from day one on campus. On Sunday, Thompson (who is just one of a trio of prospects named Shaq in the current Rivals250) appeared to narrow down specifically which programs he would play for, listing California, Washington and USC as his final three considerations, first in an interview with Rivals.com and then to the masses on Twitter.
That's when the Twitterverse seemed to explode, and Thompson rapidly changed his mind. Really.
As first reported by Rivals recruiting analyst Adam Gorney as part of the network's terrific U.S. Army All-American Bowl coverage (if you aren't already, make sure to follow Rivals' U.S. Army All-American Bowl live blog), Thompson backed off including USC as one of his finalists just hours after including the Trojans purely because his Twitter followers reportedly didn't believe he was serious about playing in L.A.
Twitter is fabulous for plenty of things, and connecting current and future stars with the masses is definitely among those benefits. Still, questioning teenagers' sincerity about their potential futures isn't exactly a traditional Twitter function.
Still, that appears to be precisely as Thompson would chose to have it, with the star defensive back saying that he thinks Twitter helps him "keep it real."
"That's how it's going to be. I'm the type of person I'm going to keep it real," Thompson told Gorney. "I was feeling SC but I'm not liking SC any more. People aren't going to take me seriously so why go there? I'm just being real. I was serious. It's whatever."
After re-eliminating USC from consideration (is re-eliminating even a proper English word?), Thompson decided to lump Notre Dame in with Cal and Washington as his final potential collegiate destinations.
Thompson has always been considered a likely Cal recruit after he first committed to the Bears in March, only to back off that pledge a week later. Still, given his flippant -- and incredibly brief -- flirtation with USC, and Notre Dame's recruitment of fellow California superstar defensive back Tee Shepard, who knows where Thompson will actually land.
Given how seriously he appears to take Twitter advice, even you might be able to influence his decision.
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