MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Ryan Dorchester cannot talk specifically about prospective student-athletes who might one day play for West Virginia University.
WVU's coordinator of recruiting operations can only address those topics with generic language, lest he find trouble with the NCAA. That doesn't keep him from having good things to say about what's happening for the 2014 and 2015 football classes. Both made strides last week when five players committed following a stretch where WVU's conducted six of its seven summer camps.
"I would say it was really productive," Dorchester said. "Just to get about 28 schools down here for the 7-on-7 deal, to have a couple team camps, just to get coaches down here where a lot of them were from Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, to get those schools and those teams used to coming up here, that's good exposure.
"It's good for us and for a lot of the kids, whether they're seniors or underclassmen we might recruit the next couple of years. It's beneficial for them to come down here and (for WVU) to get to hang out with their coaches. It's always good for them to get familiar with us."
On many levels the territory being mined is familiar for WVU. Among last week's commitments for the 2014 class were Morgantown High offensive lineman Amanii Brown, highly desired Miami receivers Lamar Parker and Jacob McCrary and Ohio offensive lineman Josh Krok. Morgantown defensive lineman/tight end Stone Wolfley committed to the 2015 class.
The Mountaineers aren't really expanding their traditional recruiting base. More attention is being given to Atlanta and anywhere about two hours from its airport. Texas is more fruitful than it was before.
As far as significant changes go, that's about it. The move to the Big 12 hasn't dramatically altered WVU's recruiting philosophy, but it has helped.
"To be 100 percent honest we don't lock horns with Big 12 schools on recruiting a whole lot," Dorchester said. "On some guys, yes, but not real often do we go head-to-head when it comes down to us and another Big 12 school. We're probably unique in a lot of ways where we don't recruit a whole lot against the other teams in our conference."
Oklahoma spends some time on the East Coast and Oklahoma State is busy in Atlanta. Iowa State is surprisingly successful in South Florida and Texas Tech has pulled players from there as well. WVU rarely encounters coaches from Kansas and Kansas State while Texas, TCU and Baylor are committed to recruiting Texas.
Joining the Big 12 removed many obstacles for WVU's recruiting, namely the negative elements attached to the quality and the uncertain future of the now-renamed Big East, but it also removed some competitors. The Big 12 is a stronger conference than what's now known as the American Athletic Conference and has better postseason possibilities. The Mountaineers are in a more favorable position to recruit with those advantages than many of their regional peers.