Rodney Cofield, know on Twitter as @TheiSmooth, has been running his Atlanta-based digital marketing and multimedia firm iSmooth Media for the last two years. The company seeks to create high impact content for individuals and corporations alike, and has established itself with local clients like Georgia Tech and Atlanta Public Schools as well as global brands like Mercedez Benz and Adidas among many others. And as recruiting becomes more and more of a multimedia enterprise, Cofield’s links to Tennessee could be very mutually beneficial.
A native Atlantan and huge sports fan, Cofield noticed that despite the huge numbers of high level prospects in the area across multiple sports, Atlanta athletes weren’t getting the type of multimedia exposure that those from other places in the country were getting. He started making videos and taking photos for Atlanta Public School recruits and athletic programs, earning the trust of players and coaches alike. From there he became more and more well known in the area, producing commitment videos for prominent recruits like 5-star Oklahoma WR Jaden Haselwood.
Vol fans likely first came across Cofield’s work with the release of 4-star Kamar Wilcoxson’s commitment video. The video shows Cofield’s blend of storytelling and action, drawing the viewer’s attention throughout until the very end when Wilcoxson announces his commitment to the Vols with a dramatic reveal. But that wasn’t his first connection to Tennessee football. That story, as does everything in recruiting, involves relationships. And in this case, it includes a random meeting in the San Antonio airport with Tennessee’s 2020 signee Harrison Bailey. As Cofield tells it, he was walking by when Bailey – there for the All American weekend – was showing his QB Coach Tony Ballard (of Hustle Inc QB Academy and 7×7 team) the aforementioned Haselwood video and recognized Cofield. The three made a connection and not only has Cofield become close with Bailey (or HB5, as he calls him) and Ballard but has since become affiliated with Adidas as well through Hustle Inc. Wilcoxson, from Ellenwood, GA, played for Hustle Inc and thus became acquainted with Cofield. Thus, the video.
Upcoming changes to Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) rights and regulations are going to make a huge impact on college sports whenever they are put into place. With them, branding for athletes will certainly begin for high level recruits starting when they are in high school, and Cofield is positioned to be a real player in this realm with his multimedia skills and experience as well as his relationships with players and coaches – high school and college – alike. And while he didn’t grow up a Tennessee fan, his relationships with HB5 and now Wilcoxson have certainly started him trending in that direction and he plans on being in Knoxville for a few games this fall. He also has his ear to the ground for Tennessee when it comes to recruits, and thinks that the upcoming month of June could have big things in store for the Vols 2021 class. Will we see more iSmooth-produced commitment videos that end with a Big Orange T at the end? Seems more likely than not, but we’ll all have to stay tuned…