Crook never had to hold his breath wondering if one of his recruits was going to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. Harvard or Stanford requirements? That was another story.
"I think the biggest difference is the number of people you're going to be looking at,'' Crook said. "We could eliminate a lot of people at Harvard and Stanford really quickly. I think here you look at a larger number of people just because of that.
"But the things that are important in recruiting don't change - developing a relationship with the prospect and his family and the people who help him make his decisions, developing relationships with the coaches and showing them that you're true to what you say you are. It's about treating people the right way and doing things the right way on and off the football field.''
If there's a difference in the type of athlete Crook will be coaching and recruiting, there's also a difference in the style of what he coaches. At neither Harvard, where he was the line coach, nor Stanford, where he coached tackles and tight ends, was he involved with quite the wide-open, pass-first style embodied by Dana Holgorsen's offense.
Still, football is football, especially where offensive line play is concerned.
"I don't think there are many difference except in how you line up and how you show your formations,'' Crook said. "There are only so many offensive football plays you can run. They're going to be pretty universal. The difference is how you get to them and how you coach them.''
As Crook and the Mountaineers get more and more into padded spring practices - today's will be the fourth overall, the second in pads - he's learning each day what he has with which to work. Having lost the core of the line in center Joe Madsen and guards Jeff Braun and Josh Jenkins, Crook is trying first to find players and then to fit them into positions.
It's going to take a while, he's sure of that, but at the heart of his search is a fairly simply philosophy.
"The No. 1 thing we talk about is finding guys that have a toughness about them - physical toughness, mental toughness, guys who are going to come out on the field and have a presence about them,'' Crook said. "The goal that we'll have is that every game we want to be the dominant force on the field.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1