Alumni Spotlight: Bo Larkin, '15, AU Football Video Coordinator
College of Liberal Arts alumnus Bo Larkin ('15, media studies) sparked an interest in film at a young age. Little did he know at the time that he would become Auburn University’s head videographer for football at the young age of 24.
“It’s definitely been a wild ride I can tell you that much,” Larkin said reflecting on his first year as head videographer.
Working at Auburn has been a family tradition for the Larkins. His father worked as an athletic trainer for 25 years and his mother currently works in the Office of Alumni Affairs.
Larkin grew up in Opelika and says he’s always bled orange and blue. Following his graduation from Auburn in December 2015, Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn asked Larkin to step in as the head videographer for the spring semester.
After getting the team through the spring, Malzahn called Larkin back and offered him the head position as videographer.
“Bo is off to a great start,” said Malzahn. “He is a true professional and he is going to have a great career.”
For Larkin, the position has certainly given him the foundation for a great career.
“It’s a dream come true for my first job to be at my alma mater,” Larkin said. “For it to be in Auburn and to happen so soon couldn’t have been a better situation.”
Larkin said he began filming when he was in the sixth grade after realizing skateboarding wasn’t for him.
“I started skateboarding with my friends, but they all got better than me so I picked up a camera and started filming them doing tricks,” he said. “From there I had the reputation around high school that I knew how to work cameras so our football head coach then, Brian Blackmon, who is now an analyst at Auburn, contacted me about filming their games.”
Larkin continued working in film and began cutting film for a student videographer on staff at Auburn his sophomore year of high school.
“I was doing a lot of work for him, cutting up highlights to send to high schools around the state, and he called me my senior year and said he had a job that was a lot cooler than my job of delivering flowers for a local florist,” said Larkin. “I said, ‘You know I don’t doubt it’s cooler but what are we talking about here?’ And he told me I could film for Auburn football and I instantly asked, ‘Where do I sign up?’”
Larkin began working as a student videographer in the summer of 2011 before he began his freshman year at Auburn.
“My first year was hectic,” Larkin said. “Coming in as a freshman and going into fall camps you’re literally thinking ‘When’s the next time I have to go into work and when’s my next meal?’ They broke me in really quickly, and I learned working in film requires motivation, discipline and being accountable to the team, your boss and the other students working with you.”
“Once I got here I found out that there’s really an industry for film,” he said. “I knew that every team needed film and knew that every team used it, but nowhere near to the extent of what it is. When I found that out, it really stuck with me that this is something I could do and something I really like doing. Even as a student, coming in to work never seemed like a job.”
Larkin said a lot of the job is making sure there is data attached to every play that the coaches want to see. He said that the defensive coaches want to know everything that an offense has ever done.
Larkin and his team work with Malzahn, Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach Chip Lindsey and Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele, as well as each position coach, graduate assistants and analysts.
Having all the practice, game and opponent film ready for the coaches and team meetings is a huge part of his job.
“If Coach Malzahn needs any specific breakdown of a team, such as how the opposing team blitzes on third down and seven with two minutes left in the game, he can come to us and we can pump that out,” Larkin said.
Larkin has started using virtual reality filming in practice with GoPros to get a 360-degree view of the field and the players. The cameras are level with the quarterback’s eyes so when he puts on the virtual reality headset, a quarterback can see in the film exactly what he saw in practice.
“Half of our job is making sure that things are done before they are needed to be done. We want to plan everything out ahead so that when the coaches ask for something we’re already ready.”
When asked his reaction to when Coach Malzahn called him offering him the head position, his answer was simple.
“Honored and blessed,” said Larkin. “To know that he has the confidence in me and wants to take the chance to let me do the job meant a ton. Hearing him say I believe you can do this for us and I think you’re going to do a great job – priceless words there.”
Larkin knows that he wouldn’t be in his dream job without the guidance he got from his leaders and mentors.
“I'd like to thank Brent Thomas, who taught me the skills, organization, and discipline to make it in this industry, Jamie Croley for guiding me through my first season with advice and understanding, Jeremy Roberts for being a great example of an Auburn Man, and finally David Gunn and Coach Malzahn for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to be a part of this program.
(Read more about Bo Larkin in East Alabama Living)
Photo courtesy of Tristan Cairns
Last Updated: October 17, 2017