MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The signs of Jarret Doege’s improvement have been visible throughout the offseason.
Entering his third year with the program, West Virginia’s starting quarterback consistently ranked among the team’s offseason “workout warriors.” His accountability team also led the leaderboard throughout the summer, a sign of the veteran’s leadership.
Those were just a couple of clues that the team shared on social media. Behind the scenes, Doege spent the offseason in the lab, building chemistry and perfecting timing with his receivers — even if it took some convincing to get those teammates out onto the field.
“They were doing a little quarterback school every day after workouts, and you could just come from a heavy squat or whatever, and Doege doesn’t care,” redshirt junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton said. “He wants you out there running the routes, too.”
Doege and his receivers committed to improving early in the offseason, so much so that Ford-Wheaton estimates that WVU receivers caught more than 100,000 passes during the spring and summer.
All that extra work might be leading to a big payoff. With the season opener against Maryland less than three weeks away, teammates are raving about Doege’s progress.
As Ford-Wheaton said Monday, the offense looks like it’s “ready to take the next step,” thanks to that offseason refinement.
“His accuracy has improved a lot,” redshirt junior Bryce Ford-Wheaton said. “That came from a lot of work in the summer. Whether we wanted to or not, he would always drag us out there.”
That summertime work comes on the heels of what was arguably the low point of Doege’s Mountaineer career. The quarterback was benched at halftime of the Liberty Bowl after throwing an interception and giving up a fumble in the first two quarters of the contest.
Eight months removed from that performance, Doege’s teammates think their quarterback has reached a new level.
“I feel like the timing is perfect,” junior wide receiver Winston Wright Jr. said. “Me and him, I know we spent a lot of time getting extra work in, our timing in. I feel like it’s paying off.”
Added Ford-Wheaton: “He’s making great throws, squeezing the ball into tight windows and just really threading the needle. Downfield, he’s really putting the ball where we can make plays. That’s really all you can ask for as a receiver.”
Even guys on the other side of the ball are taking note.
“He’s throwing balls out there, like, putting them in tight windows that I don’t see too many quarterbacks doing,” redshirt senior safety Scottie Young said.
In 2020, Doege’s 258.7 passing yards per game ranked second in the Big 12 Conference. He completed 14 touchdown passes and threw just four interceptions.