When Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the first pick of the 2011 National Football League Draft last Thursday, millions of people were watching live on ESPN or NFL Network, or following along via any number of sports sites on the Web.
When Texas A&M QB Jerrod Johnson was selected by the Hartford Colonials with the first pick of the 2011 United Football League Draft, hundreds of people followed the activities via Twitter.
The UFL, with nowhere near the following of the NFL, turned to Twitter for its draft Monday night, with picks posted on the league’s Twitter account, as well as on the Twitter feeds of its head coaches, and on the UFL website.
UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue told Yardbarker:
We believe this will be a social media first as our head coaches announce their selections exclusively to their Twitter followers. The UFL Draft plays an important role in stocking our teams’ rosters, and we hope fans enjoy this innovative means of communicating each pick.
The five UFL teams, and their respective head coaches and Twitter feeds, are: the Hartford Colonials, Jerry Glanville, @JerryGlanville; the Omaha Nighthawks, Joe Moglia, @UFLJoeMoglia; the Sacramento Mountain Lions, Dennis Green, @UFLDennisGreen; the Virginia Destroyers, Marty Schottenheimer, @DestroyersMarty; and the Las Vegas Locos, Jim Fassel, @LocosJimFassel.
Following Johnson with the No. 1 pick, notable sections included: former Tennessee Titans cornerback Reynaldo Hill, No. 2 overall by Omaha; Fresno State QB Ryan Colburn, No. 3 by Sacramento; former Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Ryan Sims, No. 9 by Virginia; Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad member and former Tennessee State center Cecil Newton Jr., Cam’s brother, No. 11 by Hartford; former Chicago Bears running back Adrian Peterson (no, not that Adrian Peterson), No. 14 by Virginia; former Seattle Seahawks and Rutgers QB Mike Teel, No. 31 by Las Vegas; Mississippi QB Jeremiah Masoli, No. 38 by Omaha; and Boston College linebacker and cancer survivor Mark Herzlich, No. 51 by Omaha.