West Virginia’s road trip to Texas Tech will be more of a homecoming for its quarterback.
Lubbock native Jarret Doege is getting the unique opportunity to play in the same stadium he attended for years in the stands — only this time, he will be on the visitors’ sideline.
“When I was a little kid going to the game, I threw my fair share of tortillas on the field,” the Mountaineer signal caller said.
Doege wasn’t just a fan of the Red Raiders — he grew up ingrained in Texas Tech football. He recalls meeting Neal Brown, then Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator and now his head coach, very early in his football career when he would attend camps at Texas Tech as early as he could throw a football.
“I was going to the three-day camps, the one-day camps, and then when Coach Brown was there, I remember specifically dropping on a line, and we’re still doing that today,” Doege recalled. “I always liked him ever since I met him….He would take us down there, just him and me, and throw on the game field.”
In 2011, Doege’s older brother, Seth, was named the starting quarterback in Brown’s offense. This gave Doege an up-close look at what it is like to be a Division I quarterback, and it solidified his goal of not only playing on Saturdays, but playing in an offense similar to the one run at Texas Tech.
“Seeing him sling the ball around, which made me want to go play in an Air Raid offense just like that and sling the ball around,” he said. “I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from him and I still do today.”
Ultimately, Doege says his goal is to coach alongside his brother and hopes to follow in his footsteps.
Doege has one particularly fond memory of that tortilla- and ball-slinging that will likely pain Mountaineer fans from his brothers’ senior season.
“I feel like it was yesterday,” he said.
It was 2012, and West Virginia was ranked No. 5 in the nation during their inaugural season in the Big 12. Armed with offensive weapons like Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, the Mountaineers were in Lubbock to play Texas Tech for the first time since 1938.
Under the leadership of Coach Brown, Seth threw for six touchdowns and a career-record 499 yards as Texas Tech took the Mountaineers apart, 49-14.
“I asked my dad if I could rush the field, I went on the field and ran around and I tried to find my brother. I couldn’t find him, but I just kind of enjoyed the experience of getting to rush the field and was hoping I could do that one day,” Doege remembered. “Hopefully this time I can reverse the roles and go out there and do what my brother did for West Virginia.”
There will be Red Raider fans in attendance for Saturday’s matchup — but so will the Jarret Doege fan club. Teammates have been sharing their allotted tickets with him so his family and friends can be in the stands. Right now, he anticipates at least 15 guests.
Not included in that group is his older brother, who will be busy preparing as part of the coaching staff at USC — but Doege is sure he’ll catch the game on television.
“I’m excited to go home and play in front of a lot of my friends and family,” Doege said. “It’s going to be exciting.”