By Matt Norlander
As a younger generation comfortably grows into an era where Web savvy and creative techniques on the Internet become second nature, we can expect more and more eye-catching courtings from fans of programs.
Top-ranked prospects will spring eternal. And this week, we've seen a UNLV fan put forth a quick viral video that mimics a Nike campaign in an effort to let No. 1 CBSSports.com/MaxPreps 2012 prospect Shabazz Muhammad know he's very much loved in the Nevada desert. The video is below. This isn't revolutionary; fans go back decades in terms of trying to lure prospects to school. It used to be so simple then.
Now we have the Internet and all the toys that come with it. In 10 years, it's going to be pretty insane -- and I encroach upon that word with as much literal emphasis as possible -- what fans of programs do to rally and rah 15-, 16- and 17-year-old kids to pick a school at which to play basketball or football. We haven't seen anything yet. Still, this is a healthy, refreshing dose of school pride in an effort to get UNLV back on a truly national level.
Artist Josh Meeter made the quick video. Simple, but pretty cool. And certainly helps UNLV. (Kentucky fans, your move.) Muhammad's being sought after by nearly every major program in the country -- and UNLV. He lives in Vegas, has for most of his life. If you want a glimpse of the type of player he is, check out the profile I wrote on him two weeks ago. The Rebels seem like they could make it into Muhammad's top three -- most hometown schools usually do, out of guilt if nothing else -- but I'm not sure how realistic of a chance UNLV has at this point with a player whose stock is streaking into another stratosphere.
I'll be watching Muhammad for the first time this weekend, when me and the other guys here at the blog head out to Vegas to watch his Dream Vision team play in the Adidas Super 64 on Friday. If he puts up another set of 40-point games, UNLV's going to have to do a lot more than videos and hometown familiarity.