Vols Use Pokémon Go to Recruit 4-Star DE

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    Pokemon_Vols

    The Pokémon Go craze has taken over most of the United States and has now launched in Europe and Canada as well. And much like any popular craze, it’s quickly becoming a recruiting tool in college football. And Tennessee is now starting to jump aboard that train.

    Tennessee’s recruiting department sent an edit to four-star defensive end LaBryan Ray that showed him as a rare and powerful Pokémon alongside an orange Pokéball.

    Ray is a top 100 player in the country in the 2017 class according to 247Sports, and he holds offers from over two dozen schools. Tennessee is just one of the many teams pushing hard to land Ray. He visited the Vols on Orange Carpet Day back in June.

    For those uninitiated in the world of Pokémon, all you need to know for this to make sense is that the new app, Pokémon Go, has people going out and attempting to capture Pokémon, which translates to “Pocket Monsters” from Japanese, by using an augmented reality system on the app where digital versions of the Pokémon appear on a phone’s screen to make it look like they appear in the surroundings around you.

    The edit Tennessee’s recruiting department sent out shows Ray with a Combat Power of 2017, which of course is his recruitment year, but it would also make him an incredibly powerful Pokémon by the game’s standards. And Pokéballs are typically red and white, but in this case the editing department chose to go with orange and white, the Vols’ standard colors.

    Recruiting is all about figuring out how to effectively use the newest crazes, and the Vols are doing it with Pokémon Go now.

    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.