Mountaineers Add Nester Through Transfer
As the Early Signing Period was underway, the usual crowd of players started entering the transfer portal. This is nothing new (at least for the last few years). The transfer portal, indeed, has become a growing part of the evolving landscape in college athletics. But one name, in particular, rose eyebrows. Four-star offensive line recruit Doug Nester entered the portal after communicating his intent to leave Virginia Tech. It did not take long for speculation to run wild, but we can now confirm that the West Virginia Mountaineers add Nester through transfer.
Infamously, former Head Coach, Dana Holgorsen did little to focus on long-term relationship-building in the Huntington area. This was, by all accounts, a big oversight, as Huntington has produced plenty of homegrown talent in the last decade, especially on the offensive line. In 2019, the Mountain State produced substantial in-state talent in the form of five-star offensive lineman Darnell Wright and four-star offensive lineman Nester.
Holgorsen did little to keep this talent in-state. Immediately upon his arrival, however, Head Coach Neal Brown focused substantial effort on flipping their commitments. Unfortunately, he was late to the party, and Wright and Nester both held their commitments to Tennessee and Virginia Tech respectively.
Flipping the Switch
Brown focused a lot of effort over the two recruiting cycles that followed to develop in-state relationships where Holgorsen failed. As a result, Brown brought the two top-rated in-state prospects into his 2020 class. This year, Brown was able to secure the commitment and ultimate signing of Wyatt Milum, the latest coveted offensive lineman from the Huntington area. Notably, Milum went to the same high school (Spring Valley) that Nester attended.
So within hours of Milum’s signing, when fans heard that Nester entered the portal, speculation ran wild. Could it be? Did Brown play the long game and ultimately secure Nester anyway? Now, we have our answer. Nester will be in Morgantown next season.
Nester started in 10 games at right guard during his freshman season for the Hokies. He then started in every game his sophomore season, this time at left guard. He earned a Freshman All-American Honorable Mention from Pro Football Focus after that freshman year. Hokie fans and staff consider Nester a big loss given his consistent and strong play.
If the NCAA acts as expected, Nester should be eligible immediately, and he will have three years of eligibility remaining. The NCAA, as many know, is considering a proposal to give all student-athletes one “free” transfer, proactively waiving the requirement that transfers sit for one year for all first-time transfers. As for his eligibility, the NCAA previously ruled that all players were given a free year of eligibility in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
We certainly wish Nester a warm welcome home, and we look forward to his future development as a Mountaineer.