MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Spring Valley High School product Doug Nester was one of the biggest gets of this past offseason for the WVU football program.
After spending his first two years of college ball at Virginia Tech, Nester transferred to the Mountaineers in a move that returned him to his home state for his final three years of collegiate eligibility.
“I think it was the best choice for me still. I really like it here a lot, and I think I have developed my game a lot more here. And I think it was a great move on my decision,” Nester said.
The former four-star product has battled through a hand injury for much of this season. He described it as a spiral fracture on his right hand, which required him to play with a large protective cast.
It’s not an ideal situation for any position player, but certainly not for one who needs his hands to help block some of the best defensive lineman in the country.
“Mentally it took a big toll on me. It was just frustrating not being able to grab hold of anybody in the first couple games,” Nester said. “Just trying to get past that, mentally, was a big struggle for me.”
The first three games following the injury were the toughest physically for Nester. After that, the Kenova native got more used to having the cast on his hand.
Attempting to combat, and play through, the injury also made him work on other areas of his game.
“I worked a lot more on my feet and my body positioning,” said Nester. “My feet got a lot better. My sets got a lot better, and my left hand also got a lot better with striking. So it was also a blessing in disguise.”
While Nester battled through his injury, the offensive line as a whole has battled through what he called, “growing pains,” to which he added is something you get with a young offensive line, like the one the Mountaineers have right now.
Nester sees development, though, individually and as a unit. WVU’s offensive line features three in-state products on the starting group, including Nester.
He tries to help in that development process the best that he can.
There have been signs, throughout the season, of that development, such as allowing zero sacks and just two quarterback hurries in the win over Iowa State. The unit gave up just one sack, and one QB hurry, in the win the previous week over TCU.
The development wasn’t as clear this past Saturday, when the group gave up eight sacks and 12 TFLs against No. 11 Oklahoma State.
For Nester, and the O-Line as a whole, this week presents a chance to rebound and show that development is there when they take on Kansas State on Saturday.