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Sept. 1 was a big day in the world of college football recruiting. No, the NCAA did not clear prospects for in-person recruiting visits with schools, nor did they expand other avenues by which potential student-athletes could learn about the program.

Instead, it was the first day that college coaches could initiate contact with rising juniors. Sure, coaches talked with them before, but the players had to initiate it and the schools could not send recruiting materials in return. The result? West Virginia University football coaches “showed love” to a lot of their top recruits in the Class of 2022, and even extended a few new offers to players who were not previously associated with the program.

One of the first new players to receive an offer from the Mountaineers was Loganville (Georgia) Grayson athlete Terian Williams. The two-way star received a graphic in his inbox at 12:01 a.m. with a message: call us tomorrow. He did just that, video chatting with the staff and speaking directly with WVU coach Neal Brown.

“They FaceTimed me while the team was on the field practicing and showed me some of the new construction, then he passed the phone to some of the other coaches,” said Williams. “They then told me I was offered and they can’t wait to get me up there. I was very excited when they told me and I’m ready to build a connection with them.”

The next day, tight ends coach Travis Trickett got busy, extending a pair of new offers to recruits in areas that are not typically known for WVU recruiting. The first went to Groton (Massachusetts) Lawrence Academy athlete Matt Ragan.

“I was excited to hear about WVU and to get my first Big 12 offer,” said Ragan. “He liked my all-around tight end game and my hands. I like their passing game.”

Within minutes, a second tight end was on the phone with Trickett and discussing his new offer.

“Coach Trickett FaceTimed me and I was very grateful and happy that they offered me,” said Wilmette (Illinois) Loyola Academy tight end James Kyle. “He liked that I’m physical and not soft.”

Neither player has been to Morgantown before, but both are familiar with the program and would like to visit once the NCAA allows recruits to do so.

Around the same time that Trickett was making those calls, quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan dialed up Chicago (Illinois) Marist offensive tackle Danny McGuire to let him know that he also had a West Virginia offer.

“He said they loved the way I played and wanted to offer me a scholarship,” said McGuire. “I really like the coaches at WVU. I’ve been talking to them since Sept. 1. They all seem like great guys and I want to build a relationship with them.”

It has been a busy week – especially with the staff also preparing for real, live football this coming weekend – but that hasn’t stopped the coaches from trying to build for the future. This will continue in the next few days, as these initial contacts with young prospects flourish, and new offers continue to go out. Then, the staff will figure out which prospects are serious about them – and which ones they are serious about – and move forward from there.