Coming into 2021, the incumbent QB1, Jarret Doege, has big plans for the West Virginia program.
“This summer, I just wanted to go back to work, get back to the basics, get better at moving in the pocket, situational football,” said Doege. “Really, I just wanted to get a lot of hard work in within those areas. Moving in the pocket. Knowing when to run and knowing a lot of situational football.”
Doege is joined by a veteran offense, flanked by running back Leddie Brown, who led the ground game with 367 yards and one touchdown, and also put up 17 catches for 145 yards and one touchdown.
At wide receiver, Doege has proven targets in Bryce Ford-Wheaton, Isaiah Esdale, Sam Brown, Winston Wright Jr., and Sam James. Doege says that he’s excited at the progress he’s gotten in the off-season reps.
“I’m throwing the ball well. I’m feeling very confident in my ability to throw it downfield and my receivers as well. It’s really just all the hard work we’ve put in. We’ve put in a lot of hours just throwing and catching over the summer,” Doege said.
He and the receiving core have been hard at work off the field, working on chemistry and field cohesion.
“It’s earned reps earned through the hard work. Just coming back each day looking at yourself in the mirror and facing the struggle and going to work each day and getting better.”
Doege credits head strength and conditioning coach Mike Joseph for the core and arm work that has steadily produced a tighter spiral thrown with a higher velocity.
“I’ve always thought I had more spin than a lot of quarterbacks I’ve thrown with, but the spin’s always been, the velocity’s gotten a lot better. I think I throw a very catchable ball to receivers,” said Doege.
Now that COVID protocol allows for more people gathering, Doege has been able to practice with the entire group of receivers, not just two at a time. He recounts that alone helping the fluid motion that he has, as well as the reps that these veteran receivers will enter this season with.
“It, for sure, was so much different this summer, because I got to throw to receivers whenever I wanted and got to throw to all of them. Last summer, we were split up in groups, so maybe I got to throw to these two receivers one day and then a different two the next day. I never really could make that full connection with all of them and throw to all of them at the same time whenever I wanted,” Doege said.
He estimated that the receivers were catching, on average, 600 balls a day, doing it this way, but that doesn’t account for tricky, high-risk plays. Doege says that he’s been focused on perfecting his delivery on plays that could just as easily produce an interception as a WVU touchdown.
“I think I just go in through my reads, trying to make a good decision. At times, you can be more aggressive, and that’s what I’ve been doing. Working over the summer and what I’m going to do over this fall camp is be more aggressive and take more shots down the field, within line without turning the ball over as well,” Doege said.
In 2020, Doege put up 2,587 passing yards for 14 touchdowns and only four interceptions, and this season should be even more productive.