If you’ve been on social media recently, you’ve likely seen the Coach Duggs to the Tennessee Vols tweets/posts.

It’s understandable if folks are confused right now.

Coach Duggs is the creation of Dan Katz, aka Barstool Bigcat.

Katz has been using Duggs as his coach on NCAA Football 14 for the past several weeks. He plays the games nightly on Twitch and Duggs has gone from being the offensive coordinator at Toledo to now being the head coach at Tennessee, via stops at Florida State, USC and Texas Tech.

(I wrote more about Duggs’ journey here.)

This has basically just been a fun way to pass time while the sports world is shut down during the coronavirus pandemic.

And Tennessee has been brilliant to jump on board the Duggs train.

I know there are mixed feelings on Barstool Sports. I happen to be a fan, but not everyone shares the same feelings.

But there’s no denying that Barstool is one of the biggest voices in sports and pop culture. They’re everywhere. They dominate the internet.

And the internet is key in recruiting.

Tennessee Vols

The fact that Tennessee is having fun with this is exposing the Vols to a litany of potential recruits.

(Bigcat has over a million followers on Twitter.)

And if the Vols win a fictional national championship with Duggs, it will absolutely further help Tennessee in recruiting.

It’s all about utilizing opportunities for exposure in an organic way (not in a forced way like Butch Jones did at UT). The Vols are doing that as well as anyone in the nation right now.

Between Tennessee’s recent recruiting hot streak and the Coach Duggs mania, there’s not a program in the country that’s being talked about more right now than the Volunteers.

Tennessee is adapting quickly to our new normal. And it’s paying off big time in recruiting.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports


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