MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It remains to be seen whether Saturday’s season finale at Oklahoma State will be Doug Nester’s last game in West Virginia, or the last college football game ever.
The junior and Virginia Tech transfer opted to walk during pre-game celebrations on Senior Day ahead of last week’s 48-31 loss to Kansas State, giving head coach Neal Brown every player with or without game time left had recommended.
“He told us that, and I thought maybe, too,” Nester said. “You never know what the future holds here in a couple of weeks, so I went ahead and did it.”
After playing the 2019 and 2020 seasons at Virginia Tech and the last two at West Virginia, Nester has the option to return if he so chooses since his second year with the Hokies does not count against his eligibility to play.
The recently hired right guard expects to make a decision in the near future.
“Waiting to hear any news and then talking about it with the family and just trying to make the right decision,” Nester said.
These include Nester’s potential prospects at the next level, as well as the unknown future of Brown and the coaching staff.
“Obviously this season hasn’t gone the way we all planned,” said Nester. “We just come to work every day and try our best, especially offensively, and we’re still trying to find things that we can improve in our game every day.”
Still, the uncertainties hanging over the programme, including a sporting director vacancy that is expected to be filled within the next two weeks, cannot be ignored.
“I’m pretty open and direct with them,” Brown said. “We’ll take care of that when the time comes. Whatever happens, we will deal with it directly. But right now it’s all about Oklahoma State and giving our boys the best chance of winning the game. That’s how you have to deal with it. I’ve been talking about this for three weeks, be where your feet are. Next week is a big week in many ways, but there’s nothing you can do about it. How you graduate says a lot about who you are as an individual. As such, as employees and as a football team, we expect to finish in the right way, individually and collectively.”
Competing with the Cowboys marks Nester’s 11th start this season and 24th of his WVU career. He’s played in every possible game since joining the program, with the exception of being disqualified from a loss to TCU earlier this season.
It was an unusual week of preparation that resulted in a matchup with a team that has beaten West Virginia seven times in a row.
Students were absent from classes and camps over the holiday week, and West Virginia will play less than 48 hours after celebrating Thanksgiving.
However, Nester says he doesn’t mind.
“Personally, I like it a bit more without classes and to focus on pure football,” said Nester. “It’s pretty much like being a pro this week. You can exercise, watch a lot more movies and get your body in shape.”
Whether or not Saturday is Nester’s last game in West Virginia, the former Spring Valley High standout wishes things had gone differently and leaves the Mountaineers more to play than proud of Stillwater.
“We put so much hard work into the offseason and if we fall short in a few of those games, we’re just a few games away from a completely different season,” Nester said. “That’s what we have to keep trying to fix – those three out of four are playing a game that really hurt us.”