TODAY | January 31, 2012
>>> impression on the sports world but he's not an athlete. nbc "today" national correspondent jenna wolf is here to explain.
>> his name is alex klein . he's a new jersey high school senior who, believe it or not, is also a college basketball recruiter. i spent time with alex to see what a typical day is like for him and i soon found out it's far from typical. it's friday afternoon at the pennington school in new jersey. senior alex klein is in irish literature class reading a poem he wrote.
>> only the strong survive. you've got to be slick.
>> reporter: it's praised by his teacher which, for most of us, would mean job well done. so why is alex still anxious? he hasn't checked his blackberry since class started which means alex hasn't tweeted.
>> most of you guys tweet. how many of you have 500 followers? 5,000? 15,000? more than 15,000 followers?
>> i have more followers than you. [ laughter ]
>> reporter: that's not important. why, you ask, does a 17-year-old high school student have so many followers? you see, alex is a college basketball recruiter. but not just any recruiter. a recent sports illustrated profiler called alex the world's first teenage recruiting guru.
>> reporter: you're a conduit between the high school players and the college coaches?
>> i'm the third wheel. it's a triangle. you have the players, the coaches and i connect them.
>> reporter: school's out. the weekend is here. while his classmates are ready to start relaxing, alex can't. his work never stops. not at night. not over the weekend.
>> basically i tweet new scholarship offers, new interests.
>> reporter: where do you get the information?
>> college coaches, high school coaches, sources, high school players.
>> reporter: they're e-mailing you.
>> e-mailing, texting.
>> reporter: they trust you.
>> they trust me with the information whether they want it out there or they want it out but don't want their name attached to it.
>> reporter: he tweets up to 100 times a day in contact with players, coaches and other recruiters across the country. he's not just online. with notebook in hand alex off hits the pavement scouting talents.
>> what are your strengths? what colleges are you hearing from?
>> i'll give you the scoop. what do you want to know?
>> reporter: and getting the attention of college coaches.
>> he's everywhere. any event, he's out there.
>> reporter: alex grew up an only child. his parents encouraged him to pursue anything he wanted. you were an athlete.
>> i was. 6th grade basketball team .
>> reporter: 6th grade basketball team ?
>> yeah, i hit a three in my career.
>> reporter: that's fantastic! knowing playing professional sports wasn't in his future alex turned to life behind the proverbial scene. by age 14 he was managing the men's basketball team at his school. by 15 he had started his own website, the recruit scoop.com. by 16 he started a basketball tournament . the mary kline classic, in honor of his mother who died from a brain tumor when alex was just 10.
>> i think she'd be proud. she's one of the reasons i have gone so far. she's pushed me in the right direction. she's up there now, but she'd be really proud.
>> make sure you study for exams.
>> i know.
>> we can put the tweeting on hold.
>> i know, dad.
>> reporter: now at age 17, alex is looking to the future. in the fall he'll attend syracuse university . though he hasn't figured out exactly what career he wants to pursue yet.
>> college coach , on-air reporter, maybe even an agent.
>> reporter: what about all the comparisons to jerry mcguire ? have you asked someone to show you the money?
>> show me the money !
>> i have only seen half the movie. i need to see it.
>> reporter: how could you only see half?
>> i'm a busy guy.
>> alex doesn't get paid for his recruiting work, at least not yet. and if you wonder how he does in school? he's basically a straight a student. his only knock against him, he has more twitter followers than i do. if that's the only knock, he's going to be okay.
>> he's a great kid. his mom is definitely proud. what a great career he has ahead of him.
>> great a head on his shoulders. it was great to hang out with him.