One of the top prospects on the West Virginia recruiting board throughout the duration of the process was Durham (N.C.) Hillside running back Donte Thomas-Williams. And after a long process the Rivals.com four-star running back became one of the major missing pieces to the 2014 recruiting class puzzle when he selected the Mountaineers at a signing day event at his high school.
Thomas-Williams, 6-foot, 221-pounds, had listed West Virginia as the leader for much of his recruitment but his commitment gives the Mountaineers the services of the running back prospect that they targeted early in the process and made a priority in this class.
The senior visited West Virginia on several occasions throughout his recruitment starting first with an unofficial stop with his coaches and teammates during the spring. It was during that initial visit that the Mountaineers really turned up the heat on the nation's No. 21 ranked running back and he reciprocated that interest.
Thomas-Williams would return to West Virginia for the Mountaineers Showtime festivities in late July and from that point on would be considered one of the favorites for his services.
Running backs coach JaJuan Seider and wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway served as the lead recruiters for Thomas-Williams and were able to establish a connection early in the process for the senior. Both coaches made multiple visits to Hillside High School throughout the process, as well as in-home visits with Thomas-Williams and his family.
"It's a great relationship. One thing they've always told me if I don't commit there or if I do they're still going to help me out and support me and still have my back," he previously told WVSports.com
Thomas-Williams took his official visit to West Virginia during the weekend of Jan. 17 after previously stopping at Florida State for a visit during the weekend of Nov. 22.
By the time the visit had wrapped up, Thomas-Williams declared West Virginia as the leader in his recruitment and momentum had swung completely in the favor of the Mountaineers.
"It was a great experience there. What stood out to me was just how serious they were about me and my future," he said at the time. "They made sure I saw the academic hall and gave me a tour around the school. They just made sure I was comfortable at all times."
Thomas-Williams was originally scheduled to visit N.C. State the following weekend but would cancel that trip and host head coach Dana Holgorsen along with Seider and Galloway for a very productive in-home visit the week before signing day. He would entertain the idea of taking a visit to Vanderbilt, but didn't end up taking the trip leading to his announcement Wednesday.
The No. 12 ranked player in the state of North Carolina is an all-purpose running back that has the size and speed to make an impact at the next level. He becomes the third four-star commitment for West Virginia in this cycle and Holgorsen will announce the entire West Virginia recruiting class at a press conference at 3 p.m. today.