Programs that are fortunate enough to put players in the NFL like to tout that fact as often as they can, in any way they can. While very few high school recruits will one day be paid to play football, just about all of them think they will, which makes “We’re an NFL pipeline” such an effective and recurring recruiting pitch.
LSU is among the elite of the elite in this regard. The Bayou Bengals put 40 players on opening day rosters, second only to Alabama’s 44. The Tigers have come out with an effective way to tout that fact in a form of marketing that doesn’t feel like marketing.
On its face, there’s nothing new or innovative about this. Every program keeps tabs on its NFL alums. As a student assistant in the Texas SID office way back when, part of my weekly duties was to research a post on the exploits of the NFL Longhorns the previous week for the football team’s website. That was before social media had taken off, and it’s not as if we invented the concept.
But it’s the way LSU does it that makes this clever. Like a Renaissance painting with hidden messages that will be lost on some audiences but unavoidable to others, at first glance this graphic is simple fan service. But the subtext for recruits is obvious. Hey, look at how many players we put in the league. We’ve got a guy on almost every team!
And it’s packaged in an easily digestible tweet that LSU can send out every week from September to the first of February.
Update: These numbers also speak for themselves.