Saturday is bound to be a special day for West Virginia University quarterback Jarret Doege and his family.
Doege, a native of Lubbock, Texas, will get to play in front of his hometown fans — in the stadium he sat in as a fan many times — for the first time as a college quarterback when WVU takes on Texas Tech this weekend.
“When I was a little kid going to the game I threw my fair share of tortillas down on the field,” Doege admitted on Zoom Tuesday. “I’m excited just to go home and play in front of a lot of my friends and family. It’s going to be exciting.”
Growing up in West Texas, Doege spent his childhood firmly in Red Raider territory. He played his final two seasons of high school football at Lubbock-Cooper High School a short drive from Texas Tech’s football stadium.
Jarret said he started going to Texas Tech football camps in middle school, where he first met then-TTU offensive coordinator and current WVU head coach Neal Brown.
“I was going to camp at Tech ever since I could throw a football,” Doege said. “I always liked [Brown], ever since I met him. He would take us down there, just him and me, and throw on the game field.”
Doege said he remembers doing drills back then that Brown still coaches him to do today. Brown said it will be important for Doege to treat Saturday just like any other game, despite his excitement.
“He has been in that stadium numerous times. He has watched his brother play, he has been there as a fan,” Brown said. “He’ll be emotional about going back, but he has got to be able to control those emotions, and it’s not any different than any other game. We’re going to talk a lot about mindset and just kind of staying neutral.”
Doege’s older brother, Seth Doege, was also a college quarterback who and played for Texas Tech from 2009 through 2012. Doege said watching his older sibling is what inspired him to be a college quarterback. The older Doege was a two-year starter for the Red Raiders, throwing for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2011 and 4,205 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2012.
“Growing up [watching my brother play college football] was like an unreal experience for me,” Jarret Doege said. “Seeing him sling the ball around made me want to go play in an Air Raid offense just like that. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from him and I still do today. Hopefully one day I’ll get to coach with him too. I’m really just following in his footsteps and just trying to be just like him.”
Seth currently works as an offensive analyst at Southern California — and with the Trojans preparing to begin their season he will be unable to attend Saturday’s game in Lubbock. Jarret said he still expects to have a large group of family and friends at the game cheering for him.
West Virginia and Texas Tech will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday from Jones AT&T Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.