When WVU hired Neal Brown as head coach in early 2019, one of the best in-state recruits was Spring Valley offensive lineman Doug Nester.
Nester (6-foot-7, 320 pounds) was rated as a four-star prospect and the No. 2 recruit in the state coming out of Spring Valley in 2019. After committing to Ohio State in 2017, Nester’s recruitment started to open back up in early 2019 and Brown wanted to get him.
“We tried as hard as we could for that month we were here [in 2019] to recruit him out of high school,” Brown said.
Nester eventually de-committed from the Buckeyes and signed on with Virginia Tech in February, but that time was a positive experience between Nester and the WVU staff, according to Brown. When Nester entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal after the 2020 season, Brown thinks it was that month-long experience that helped get him to WVU.
“When we made his decision that it wasn’t going to be West Virginia the first time, I think our response to that was positive,” Brown said. “When he made the decision he was going to leave [Virginia Tech] and he went into the portal, I think that the relationship we established within that month paid off.”
It took two years longer than he would have liked, but Brown now has his man, as Nester transferred to the Mountaineers on Christmas this winter and is with the team now for spring practices. Nester should help solidify a WVU offensive line that is losing two of its starters from last season. A tackle with the Hokies, Brown said Nester is training to play any spot this spring.
“I thought the last two days he’s been impressive,” Brown said Friday. “We’re playing him at both guard and tackle. As he learns what we’re doing and what his job is, you can see him playing with more confidence and being more physical.
“I’m excited about him, I think he can be an upper-level Big 12 offensive lineman, without a doubt,” Brown said. “We’re glad that we have him now and we look forward to him playing a big role for us over the next couple of years.”