If you’re not familiar with Twitter terminology, a “subtweet” is the act of calling somebody out on Twitter without mentioning them by name or including their Twitter handle in the tweet itself. It’s generally considered a cowardly thing to do and is often done by those who are young, immature and scared.
And Ohio State football coaches, apparently.
Ohio State receivers coach Zach Smith seemed to randomly subtweet Tennessee coach Robert Gillespie on Thursday evening after the Vol assistant posted a picture to celebrate the commitment of four-star receiver Marquez Callaway, a player Ohio State wasn’t even actively recruiting.
Here’s Gillespie’s tweet from Thursday afternoon:
Boom!! The face of DBs and their position coaches that have to play us right now ??????? #Vols
— Robert Gillespie (@UTCoachG) January 21, 2016
And Smith’s subtweet from later on Thursday evening:
— Zach Smith #Zone6 (@CoachZachSmith) January 22, 2016
Smith has been testy on Twitter before with other programs. And while talking some trash and being competitive is all part of the process in college football, this incident seems extremely petty and random on Smith’s part. Tennessee and Ohio State cross paths on the recruiting trail from time to time, but rarely on the field. And in this case, Callaway didn’t even have a known offer from Ohio State, nor were they actively recruiting him.
And while Tennessee certainly doesn’t have a perfect track record developing receivers recently, the only five-stars the Vols have signed at the position over the past three years are Josh Malone and Preston Williams. It’s far too early to make a judgement on Williams after injuries sidetracked him in 2015 and Malone, while inconsistent, took a nice step forward in 2015, starting 12 games and accumulating 405 receiving yards in a run-first offense.
Ohio State finished 12th in the Big Ten in total passing in 2015, so Smith might need to look in the mirror at his own group of highly-ranked receivers before he fires off too many more subtweets.
And as some have pointed out to us on Twitter, Smith is the same guy who through a tantrum on Twitter about Target’s return policy and rallied OSU fans to protest.