While excitement around the state is reaching a high level for the upcoming football season, it's never too soon for fans of both West Virginia and Marshall to take a look into the future beyond the 2012-2013 campaign.
It's pretty much a consensus between analysts and those in the know of college football that the Mountaineers will have to step up recruiting efforts to stay competitive in the Big 12.
Meanwhile, the Thundering Herd is coming off of a bowl win and looks to be making progress in Conference USA, especially with a great number of players coming back from last year's squad.
Marshall coach Doc Holliday said he and his staff will look to ride the momentum of the team's 20-10 win over Florida International in last year's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl to a solid recruiting class this year.
"[The bowl win] was huge," Holliday said. "Kids want to go to a place where they can play in bowl games and compete for national championships, so what that bowl win did for us just from a standpoint of exposure is huge."
Even looking to next season, Marshall will only lose eight seniors off its roster, on one hand making it one of the youngest teams in America but on the other meaning there are fewer holes for the Herd to fill through recruiting.
Holliday said his team's relative youth is a positive.
"We have a young football team but we have a young team that has played a lot of football," Holliday said. "Last year most of our kids were freshmen and sophomores so they were able to get some experience. I think it's a good problem to have."
Still, Holliday has a particular area he is looking to address in the 2013 class.
"This won't be a very big class because we just don't have many holes to fill," Holliday said. "The offensive line is still an issue we've got to get fixed."
If Rivals.com is any indication, help could be on the way for the Thundering Herd as all three of Marshall's listed commitments are offensive linemen.
As for the Mountaineers, the team is addressing needs in the backfield and on defense as three linebackers and three running backs have committed thus far.
According to Rivals.com, the top of the current WVU class is Darrien Howard, an inside linebacker from Dayton, Ohio, who is listed as the Mountaineers' only four-star player.
Also appearing on the list is offensive guard Tyler Tezeno, an offensive guard from Klein Collins High School in Houston, Texas, an area in which West Virginia would undoubtedly like to have success as playing in the Big 12 is certain to give the Mountaineers additional exposure in the region.
Neither WVU director of football operations Alex Hammond or coordinator of recruiting operations Ryan Dorchester returned the Gazette's phone call requesting an interview.