CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Donte Thomas-Williams, Dana Holgorsen thanks you.
On Wednesday, the four-star running back provided a little excitement on national signing day for WVU.
It was much needed. Coming off the last two Mountaineer seasons, WVU's program needed a lift. Or, at least, a spark.
With Thomas-Williams in the fold, along with quarterback William Crest and cornerback Dravon Henry, Holgorsen and company pulled out a decent recruiting class. Give the coaches a solid B, considering those last two seasons.
That said, WVU usually finishes near the bottom or just outside of Top 25 class rankings. As of Wednesday afternoon, after most of the fireworks had ceased, the Mountaineers were ranked a high of No. 35 by 247 Sports and a low of No. 40 by Scout.
In between, Rivals ranked West Virginia's class No. 38 and ESPN had it at No. 37. That's not exactly what athletic director Oliver Luck had to have in mind in late 2010 when he hired then-red hot Holgorsen. Considering the big picture, though, it was an above-average effort. Most recruiting services placed WVU's class No. 5 in the Big 12, below those of Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
Marshall, meanwhile, fared better in comparison to its peers. Doc Holliday and company landed what is universally lauded as the top class among Conference USA teams.
Again, 247 gave the highest mark, ranking the Thundering Herd's class No. 54 as of Wednesday afternoon. Rivals and Scout both had MU's class No. 63.
MU far outdistanced its C-USA peers. Rivals had Holliday's class with 11 3-star signees. Tulane was next in that regard with five, although tied with Southern Miss with the No. 3 class. East Carolina was second, but with just three 3-star kids.
Scout listed Marshall with one 4-star signee in safety Kendall Gant. Considering MU's limitations, give Holliday an A. Scout had the Herd's class above those of schools like Purdue, Wake Forest, Duke, BYU and Utah. The 247 service also had it above that of Georgia Tech.
Before WVU played Oklahoma, I had a chance to chat with Mountaineer basketball coach Bob Huggins.
In the last couple games before Wednesday, Huggins' Mountaineers had shown improvement, which seemed to sooth the coach after last season's nightmare.
At the time, Huggins seemed very upbeat. Too, he has the proverbial chip on his shoulder. He wishes to show all what kind of product his staff can produce, if not this season then next. And he's confident about next season. As in very.
"We're going to have everybody back," Huggins said. "We also have two guys [Jonathan Holton and Elijah Macon] who are doing terrific in school. And we signed two guys [Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter] who can help us right away."
Note Huggins didn't say Holton and Macon were getting by in school. He said they were "doing terrific." He added that Macon's wrist, which has undergone two surgeries, is "showing signs of healing."
The coach said Holton, who is allowed to practice although sitting out, is "playing really well."
"He's a talented guy," Huggins said. "He blocks shots, rebounds and can score. He can shoot close and the 3-ball very well."