MORGANTOWN - Dana Holgorsen was in for a rude awakening when he began trying to recruit players in his new job as West Virginia's offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting.
It wasn't that recruiting to West Virginia was difficult for a coach who has spent most of his career in the Southwest. In fact, that wasn't difficult at all.
"West Virginia has a pretty good reputation, even in Texas,'' Holgorsen said. "Nobody told me I couldn't talk to their kids.''
No, what Holgorsen found was that recruiting on the East Coast and recruiting in Texas and Oklahoma are light years apart. It has nothing to do with talent, but everything to do with attitude and style.
"The East Coast is different,'' Holgorsen said. "It's about press conferences and taking all your visits and pulling hats out at press conferences.''
Welcome to showtime, Dana. Yes, we've managed to provide this platform for the self-indulgence of 17-year-old kids, and they're going to take full advantage of it.
Not that Holgorsen was completely taken aback, of course. There is some of that in the Southwest, too, but for the most part players there are recruited the spring of their junior year, commit during the summer and then it's just a matter of time.
"Ninety percent of your class is finished in the summer,'' Holgorsen said. "Here, 50 to 60 percent go down to the last week of recruiting.''
Holgorsen and the new members of his staff apparently mastered the nuances well enough to work with WVU coach Bill Stewart and the remaining staff and pull together a class of 23 recruits. Six of them are already enrolled and the other 17 signed binding letters of intent Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA's month-long national signing period.
To ease the transition, of course, Holgorsen worked his old areas as much as the new ones. Of the 23 newcomers, two of the most intriguing are from the Southwest - running back Dustin Garrison of Pearland and quarterback Paul Millard of Flower Mound, both in Texas. Both had absolutely huge high school numbers but went largely unrecruited because of their size.