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An Unlikely Source

by Dan Gunderson

When it comes to the recruiting game in college athletics, coaches are always looking for an edge. It could be a local high school that has been supplying your program with quality athletes for years.

It could be that you know the grandfather of a kid from a state 1,000 miles away and it just so happens this kid is a coveted high school athlete.

For North Dakota State University, one of their many recruiting edges could have been through the Internet. NDSU's Multimedia Coordinator is Kasey Byers. If you're a fan of Bison athletics, you have seen his work.

From football...

to basketball...

to softball.

Byers' work is all over the NDSU athletic department and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the programs.

"Kasey has done some great work here at NDSU," said head football coach Chris Klieman in an email. "I know a number of recruits that have watched Kasey's work and have been very impressed."

In a world dominated by social media, trying to reach recruits in states like Florida or Texas has become easier. Having a good official Facebook page or Twitter profile is key. You can see it in what schools put on these feeds.

However, it seems schools have ignored the video aspects of their athletic programs. Take, for instance, the video game recaps you see on the University of North Dakota's site are unimaginative and dull.

It isn't only FCS schools. Schools with larger budgets, like the University of New Mexico, don't have the type of montages or great highlight packages that make fans and potential recruits go "Wow."

The way an athletic department should look at their video production should be the same way a movie looks at their trailer. The trailer is key to getting people to want to go to a movie. It gets people to talk about that upcoming movie.

A slick looking video montage or highlights package should have the same effect. A potential recruit in Nebraska or Iowa or wherever could be sitting in his room, looking through recruiting letters, trying to figure out why he should go to this or that school.

He sees NDSU, does a quick Google search on the school and next thing you know, he is enamored by the videos of Brock Jensen scoring touchdowns or TrayVonn Wright throwing down dunks.

He becomes interested. That same recruit could have done the same thing with another school and not become interested in a school because what they have online is weak.

I know saying all of these things is a bit of a stretch. There is obviously more that goes in to the recruiting process. Still, you can't help but think that what Kasey Byers did for NDSU had some kind of impact on the recruiting of athletes.

You have to remember you are dealing with 16 to 17-year-old kids. Good program, good coaches, great history, etc... all play a part. That edge, however, needs to be gained somewhere.

How many times has your child or a co-worker said, "Have you seen this video?" That is the type of edge NDSU has with Kasey Byers. Or, should I say, had.

Kasey Byers is moving on from NDSU as his work has opened up a great career opportunity. NDSU not take replacing him lightly. That, I can guarantee.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called The Pinto and White Shadow Show. Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.