Morgantown, West Virginia – We actually briefly met back in 2019 at Kroger on Patteson Drive in Morgantown. You recently transferred to West Virginia from Bowling Green; you were polite and certainly looked the part of a talented Power 5 quarterback. I had high aspirations for your career as the future starting quarterback for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
It’s important that you understand the reasons behind the criticism that you’ve faced over the last three seasons since then. You’re not from West Virginia so you may not understand this, but West Virginia sports means so much to the people of this state. West Virginia football and basketball have been a huge part of my life, and like most people in our great state, I live and die with the successes and failures of the Mountaineers sports programs.
A large portion of my of life has been spent riding the rollercoaster of ups and downs, the highs and the lows of what happens within the walls of Milan Puskar Stadium and the WVU Coliseum. Unlike other journalists in the state – who have little to no affiliation with West Virginia, who weren’t born in West Virginia, who didn’t graduate from West Virginia University – I was born and raised in West Virginia and I graduated from West Virginia University. If you slice my skin open with a sharp object, gold and blue comes gushing out!
If I’m guilty of anything as a journalist, it’s that I care too much about what I cover. Having grown up in the state of West Virginia and being a life-long fan(atic) of the Mountaineers, the subject matter often hits very close to home.
So when a player like you, Jarret Doege, doesn’t live up to expectations and the head coach refuses to make an obvious, necessary change, a certain despair and broken-heartedness builds. Again, you wouldn’t understand this heartache any better than I would if I started writing about the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas where you’re from.
You no doubt had no clue what you were coming into when you transferred to West Virginia University. You wanted to play Power 5 Conference football and Neal Brown, who coached your brother Seth at Texas Tech, gave you an opportunity that likely no other Power 5 Conference coach would have. You were gift-wrapped a starting quarterback role but you also got the pressure that came along with it.
An entire state lives and dies on the decisions and plays you make on the field, and that has to be an incredibly stressful, difficult thing to deal with for a college student. I sympathize with what you’re going through and apologize if I’ve added to your complicated, unique circumstances, but I also want you to understand that as a West Virginian, as someone who wants more than anything for the Mountaineers to be successful and to win, that’s my nature, that’s who I am.
No hard feelings.