The more this offseason goes on, the more I've been impressed with Todd Graham. He just seems more genuine to me by the day and while it's impossible to tell what kind of job he'll do (you know, without having played an actual game and all), it's easy to find yourself believing in his system.
ESPN's Ivan Maisel caught up with Graham and has a solid piece up. One thing in particular caught my eye, though.When talking about Facebook and keeping up with recruits, Graham said:
"I heard [a coach] the other day talking about Facebook," Graham said, "and he said, 'I don't Facebook. I'm old school. I'm a look-you-in-the-eye-and-handshake guy.' I said, 'Well, good luck. You're going to talk to the kid one time.' I don't like Facebooking either. I'm a Facebooking machine. I've got to build a relationship with these kids. I'm not Joe Paterno. I'm a young, up-and-coming guy. I've got to establish myself. You're darn right. I'm Facebooking like crazy. I need every advantage I can get, man. I don't walk down the road and everybody knows who I am. You know what I'm saying?"
Graham's absolutely right on that. You've got to adjust to your surroundings when it comes to recruiting and Graham gets that. Unless you're a legend, I think it's downright difficult for a coach to avoid social media and be able to recruit effectively, so it's probably less and less that you'd run into a coach like that.
The differences between Graham and Dave Wannstedt are downright frightening. Wannstedt seemed to be popular because he was a Pittsburgh guy, because people could identify with him. Graham, on the other had, is popular because he represents a fresh approach - a new style. Both coaches have their pockets of fans, but for different reasons.
The ironic thing is, obviously, that Wannstedt would fit more into the mold of the guy Graham mentioned in the article.
The bottom line is that Graham gets it ... and that's comforting.