Although the season is over and practice has not yet started, January tends to be one of the busiest times of the year for college football coaches.
Not only are they hosting recruits on the weekends and putting the finishing touches on the current class, but they're also out gathering transcripts and checking up on sophomores and juniors.
With so much going on at once, the news cycle lends itself to the recruiting world's version of a news and notes piece. Without further ado, here's the latest West Virginia recruiting news.
The latest addition to West Virginia's class seems to be an obvious choice. Miramar (Fla.) two-way lineman Yodny Cajuste pledged to the Mountaineers over the weekend, choosing WVU over offers from Florida, Oklahoma State and Syracuse.
"The campus tour was amazing," said the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder. "It was my first time seeing snow and that just got me. The facilities and everything were beautiful. The weight room is big and beautiful and brand new. The locker room is brand new. The jerseys and helmets, everything was just nice. I just felt at home."
Cajuste, who has only played one year of organized football, said the plan is for him to go to Morgantown this summer and try out at both offensive tackle and defensive end, and see where the coaches feel he has the brightest future.
The player Cajuste "replaced" was McKinley (Ohio) offensive lineman Josh Krok. The three-star prospect committed to WVU back in the summer, but earlier this month decided that he wanted to visit Kentucky. Once he made his way to Lexington, he and WVU went their separate ways and he announced last week that he would be a Wildcat.
Jensen Beach (Fla.) linebacker Xavier Preston was another commitment who had been taking visits, but a visit from area recruiter JaJuan Seider put those concerns to bed for Mountaineer fans.
"You can let the world know I'm done," Preston told EerSports Monday night. "I've had my heart set on WVU since I was a little kid, watching James Davis play, along with Corey McIntyre."
North Carolina State, Iowa State, Vanderbilt and more were still recruiting Jensen.
Georgia Military College defensive end Kenderius Whitehead also officially visited West Virginia this past weekend, and he put the Mountaineers into his top two. They join Georgia Tech, where he will visit this weekend before announcing his decision. Area recruiter Tony Gibson was expected to see him Tuesday or today.
WVU coach Dana Holgorsen and wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway have been traveling buddies this week. On Sunday night, they stopped in to check on Dunbar (Md.) quarterback commit William Crest, and Tuesday they swung through Hillside, N.C., to meet with top running back target Donte Thomas-Williams.
Holgorsen will be a little closer to home on Thursday as he meets up with Gibson for in-home visits with Aliquippa (Pa.) superstars Dravon Henry and Jaleel Fields. Gibson has been by to see the teammates three times this month, coming through solo on Jan. 16 and with defensive coordinator Keith Patterson on Jan. 20. NCAA rules allow coaches to visit recruits once a week during the contact period, with weeks starting Sunday and ending Saturday.
West Virginia is looking to keep the good vibes in south Florida flowing for 2015. They already have commitments from Miami Northwestern wide receiver Jovon Durante, Miramar wide receiver Kahlil Lewis and Miramar safety Kendrell McFadden, but the coaches have been checking in on several other major targets in the area.
At quarterback, Flanagan's Ryan Stanley was visited by WVU last week, and the junior signal caller says the Mountaineers are one of his favorites. Right down the road, Palm Beach Gardens linebacker Tevon Coney received a visit and an offer from WVU. That offer was accompanied by offers from Miami, Ohio State and Florida, among others.
Speaking of 2015 recruits, this weekend is set be the Mountaineers' first Junior Day, an event held once or twice a year where top underclass recruits come to town, watch a basketball game at the Coliseum, get a tour of the facilities and campus and meet with members of the coaching staff.
Some big names are expected, including Westminster Christian (Fla.) athlete Jordan Cronkrite, four-star running back Larry Scott from Hubbard, Ohio, and Scott's teammate, offensive lineman Matt Jones, all of whom claim WVU offers. In all, more than two dozen prospects are expected, and the coaches will follow that with a second junior day on Feb. 22.
For more coverage of West Virginia recruiting, visit www.eersports.com.