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Pocket movement and the deep ball were at the top of Jarret Doege’s offseason checklist

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jarret Doege will start his fourteenth game as West Virginia’s quarterback Saturday afternoon at Maryland. Interestingly enough, his eligibility clock at WVU still hasn’t started. He appeared in four games in 2019, which was the limit to preserve a redshirt season. Doege started all ten games in 2020, where all college athletes received a free season of eligibility due to the pandemic.

Entering his fifth season of college football, and third at WVU after transferring in from Bowling Green, Doege says he did all he could to take his preseason preparation to another level.

“I thought I worked hard last year,” Doege said. “This year, I just put it into a whole new perspective of how hard I needed to work in order to get better. I wanted to focus on pocket movement and the deep ball.”

“He has done everything in his power to be the best quarterback that Jarret Doege can be since he came back to school in January after the bowl game,” said WVU quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan.

“He has taken the plan. He has executed it and done it to a very high level. That is why he will be ready to play and play well on Saturday.”

WVU QB Jarret Doege (Photo by Joe Brocato)

Doege will not put up Rasheed Marshall or Pat White statistics running the ball but he acknowledges that he must show some proficiency scrambling for WVU’s offense to be at their best.

“I may not be a juke and wiggle type of guy. But I am going to try to get five to ten and get down,” Doege said.

“He did drills, all through winter, spring ball and the summer, working on subtle movements in the pocket and concentrating on keeping his eyes downfield. The next thing he wanted to do is change his body and that was in the weight room with coach Mike Joseph. He did a phenomenal job with that. He dropped his body fat percentage to under ten, which is really good for a quarterback,” Reagan said.

“The next thing he wanted to do was to add a little bit of juice to his throws. He has done that. A lot of that had to do with being in the weight room and his extra arm care that he has taken to another level to try to keep the soreness out from when he threw all winter, spring and summer. It is showing on the practice field.”

WVU coaches appear unanimous in praising Doege’s offseason work, so much so that a quarterback competition never seemed to take root in preseason camp.

“I really just want him to enjoy the process of getting prepared,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “We talked a lot about earning the right. He has earned the right. We have talked about with our team that there are dreamers and there are people with visions. Dreamers, to me, they have this dream of the type of player they want to be or the end result. But really, it is just kind of a dream. They just kind of think about it. Then there’s people with visions. They have a plan and it is about action. It is hard because there are things you have to do to receive the outcome that you want. He is a guy with a vision.

West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown talks with West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Jarret Doege (Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)

“My belief and my expectation is that he is going to play well. And there is nothing I have seen over the last nine months that would tell me any different,” Brown said.

Doege completed 64 percent of his throws in last year’s ten-game season and he averaged 259 passing yards per contest.

“We would be lying if we didn’t say it is always good to know who your quarterback is going to be at the start of a year,” said WVU offensive coordinator Gerad Parker. “With the steps he has taken and where we are as an offense because of him being a vet, having done this before and having some games under his belt as a starter, it certainly helps. It helps us and it helps him. The guys believe in him. We believe in him. He has done a great job in becoming who he needs to become as a leader and improving the spots he needs to improve upon.”

Doege’s worst performance as a Mountaineer came in their most recent game. Doege was pulled from the Liberty Bowl win over Army as Austin Kendall engineered a second half comeback. Jarret says a conversation with his older brother Seth helped him flush that performance from his mind.

“Me and my brother just had a little talk,” Doege said. “I think he gave me two days just to sit there and think about what happened. From then on, it was wipe it out and let’s go to work.”

WVU QB Jarret Doege (Photo by Ben Queen Photography)

“I called to him probably 24 to 48 hours after the bowl game,” Reagan said. “And I told him, ‘I love you man. You just didn’t have your ‘A’ game. And sometimes that happens. But you can’t dwell on the negatives of what went on in that bowl game. You have to use it. You have to grow from it. And you have to become a better player’.”

As Doege takes the field this year, he will do so with a new beard, and some maintenance tips from his position coach.

“My girlfriend actually said, ‘You should grow out a beard. It looks really good’. I never thought it did,” Doege said. “I got back to campus and had a little bit of a beard and I got complements from everybody. I just kind of rolled with it from there. It just keeps on growing.”

“Just make sure you have some of those beard lube products to take care of yourself so you don’t get an infection,” Reagan said. “Somebody in the room may have thought he was the Mountaineer at one time. If quarterback doesn’t work out for him, he can be the mascot, maybe.”

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