The world of Twitter journalism doesn’t need much fuel to ignite a fire. Any time a quarterback competition on a top-10 team like the Florida Gators is involved, it’s going to get hot.
Mix in a little Jack Daniels, and it can spread like an Alachua County wildfire.
All of those ingredients came into play Thursday afternoon when Palm Beach Post reporter Matt Porter tweeted the following from his @mattysports Twitter account:
@mattyports: Source: #Gators QB Jacoby Brissett all-in this season, no plans to transfer. If he leaves, #WVU and #USF are possibilities.
Brissett was engaged in a quarterback battle with fellow sophomore Jeff Driskel that lasted through Florida’s 27-14 win against Bowling Green in the season opener on Sept. 1. Two days later, Driskel officially was named the starter.
Immediately, there was speculation about Brissett’s future, although no actual reports came out about it until Porter’s tweet.
By his next tweet, Porter had revealed his source, citing the name “Daniels.” Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer coach Jack Daniels was Brissett’s coach, and Porter covers the prep beat. Also, his previous tweets an hour earlier showed he was at Dwyer High that day.
@mattyports: More Daniels on Brissett: “If he doesn’t get his chance, I’m pretty sure he’s leaving.” Called #WVU “ideal” for sophomore QB. #Gators
Then it got even more interesting when Brady Ackerman, a college sports analyst for CSS Sports and sideline reporter for the Gator IMG Sports Network got involved.
The following tweet from Ackerman (@bradyack) was directed at Porter and in response to Porter’s second tweet that quoted Daniels as saying he was “pretty sure” Brissett was leaving:
@mattyports everyone has a job to do,but I talked to Coach and he said this is not true.Jacoby is focused on being ready.
Ackerman was a walk-on running back at Florida from 1987-91. He later tweeted about how Daniels was his college teammate, and said Daniels said he was “misunderstood,” and “wouldn’t fly off the cuff with that.”
However, it wasn’t the first time Porter had tweeted an off-the-cuff comment from Daniels about the Gators’ quarterback battle. Back on Sept. 1, Porter tweeted this before Florida’s season opener:
Jack Daniels, #Gators alum, Brissett’s coach at Dwyer: “I hope [Dwyer alum, #BGSU CB] Darrell [Hunter] picks Jeff Driskel three times.
As far as Thursday’s Twitter exchange, Ackerman also tweeted to Porter that this wasn’t the “right time” to bring up Brissett’s possible transfer, which makes sense considering it involves a backup quarterback who may not even play when No. 10 Florida hosts No. 4 LSU at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. There’s also eight regular season games remaining, so anything can happen.
It’s hard to fault Porter for reporting what he did, though. If Daniels said it on the record, then Porter was doing his job by reporting it. In the fast-paced world of Twitter journalism, two sources apparently are not needed to tweet something that’s newsworthy, as is the case with traditional journalism.
According to our sources, Brissett has been a model teammate and continues to prepare as if he is one play away from playing. If and when the time comes to report about Brissett’s possible transfer, GatorCountry.com certainly will have an actual story, and not just tweet about it.