Back in October, the NCAA passed a handful of new rules to help streamline recruiting and give players and coaches a little more time to relax during the holidays. College football's governing body extended the "dead period" - which typically ran from the week before Christmas until right after New Year's Day - all the way until the middle of January.
Of course, Mountaineer fans saw just how lively a "dead period" can be, with West Virginia picking up two 2015 commitments, hiring a new assistant coach and causing an uproar in the south Florida recruiting scene.
Still, with coaches not allowed to have in-person contact - whether that be at the recruit's house or hosting recruits on campus - until Jan. 16, the importance of these final three weekends cannot be understated. Thankfully, the Mountaineers got off to a hot start this past weekend, hosting three major official visitors and impressing them all.
The first, Friendship Academy (D.C.) safety DaeJuan Funderburk, committed to the Mountaineers during the trip. The three-star prospect had long been leaning toward the Mountaineers but simply wanted to wait until he could tell the coaches in person. Before he did that, he detailed for EerSports why he was committing to WVU.
"I feel like it's the best fit for me," the 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect said last week. "The atmosphere, coaches and fans were welcoming, as well as the people in Morgantown."
Joining Funderburk on this past weekend's visitor list was Hillside (N.C.) running back Donte Thomas-Williams, arguably the top target remaining on West Virginia's board, regardless of position. For the Top247-rated prospect, things could not have gone much better.
"I'd give it a 10," said Thomas-Williams, when asked to rank the visit. "Just the whole campus was nice. I learned a lot."
The four-star recruit then admitted that West Virginia was his definitive leader after the trip, surging ahead of Florida State, UCLA, Notre Dame and others. This coming weekend, he intends to visit N.C. State, and he will make a decision between the Wolfpack and Mountaineers shortly after.
Finally, South Dade (Fla.) wide receiver C.J. Worton made the long - albeit familiar - trip up from south Florida to Morgantown. He, too, could not give enough praise to the coaches and players for his time in town.
"What didn't stand out?" Worton replied when asked what stood out about the trip. "The trip was awesome. The whole thing was crazy. I met with all the coaches, went to dinner. It was real awesome. The whole thing was just awesome."