(AMHERST, MA) WGGB- – - UMass Amherst athletics couldn’t ask for a better recruiting tool. With Victor Cruz and James Ihedigbo playing in the big game on Sunday, the department is seeing this as a great chance to market their programs.
“The excitement around Victor and James in the Superbowl has generated a tremendous amount of enthusiasm from our football supporters as well as the general UMass alums,” said Director of Development for UMass athletics, Rocko DeLuca.
“It really gives us a level of exposure nationally that’s really unique for one thing and hard to achieve,” said the school’s athletic director, John McCutcheon.
At National Signing Day this week, the school already began to experience how influential the two stars can be for the school.
“Certainly when they see what James has done and what Victor has done, it makes for some very easy conversation in the recruiting process,” McCutcheon.
“It’s just showing people that you can make it out there,” said Rodney Mills, a member of the UMass football team. “It’s showing that the school can produce NFL players.”
But this goes beyond football, McCutcheon thinks this will be helpful for all sports at UMass.
“I think it’s a situation that will raise the awareness of all our programs and puts us in a position to be more successful across the board,” he said.
The social media for the department is also getting more attention.
“We’ve seen a big uprising in the number of people clicking on our emails, watching our messaging and over the past week, it’s been non-stop Q and A about James and Vic, so it’s great,” said DeLuca.