By: Brendan C. Hall, USA TODAY High School Sports | December 5, 2018
Spring Valley (Huntington, W. Va.) offensive lineman Doug Nester received his All-American Bowl jersey Wednesday afternoon at his school as part of the All-American Bowl Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance.
“It’s just great to know that all my hard work is really getting put into something great,” Nester told USA TODAY prior to the ceremony, when reminded he is the first-ever player from his high school to be selected to the game.
The 6-foot-6, 314-pound Nester, an Ohio State commit, is ranked by 247 Sports as the No. 5 offensive guard in the country, and the No. 2 overall prospect in West Virginia.
— All-American Bowl Jersey Presentation Tour (@AABJerseyTour) December 5, 2018
Behind a massive offensive line that included Division 1 recruits Zach Williamson (Lousiville commit) and Wyatt Milum, the 14-1 Timberwolves were among West Virginia’s most explosive offenses, averaging 42 points per game and marching all the way to their third straight Class AAA Final appearnce, where they lost to budding powerhouse Martinsburg once again.
“Having three Division 1 O-linemen never hurts — especially in West Virginia, where that’s practically unheard of,” Nester said. “We just completely dominated up front as much as we could. Offensively, we could do whatever we want.
“We gave the quarterback enough time to spread the ball, something we’d never done in the past — we were more of a ground-and-pound team.”
Nester says he worked a lot this past offseason on his pass protection and building strength, two qualities whose improvements were markedly visible this fall:
In the wake of Monday’s news that coach Urban Meyer will be stepping down following the Buckeyes’ bowl game, Nester remains solid with Ohio State, lauding Meyer’s successor Ryan Day as “A really good coach, and I don’t think it’s a bad choice.”
Nester didn’t seem surprised by the Meyer news, saying he had a gut feeling something was going to happen based on his most recent visit to Columbus this past fall.
“I mean, it went really well, all the coaches treated me the same and everything,” Nester said. “But you could tell something was on their minds, you know? They didn’t say anything to me or anything like that, [but] I could just feel something was going to happen.”
Nester is taking his official visit to OSU this weekend, and plans on signing with the Buckeyes in February. But he didn’t slam the door shut on visiting any other schools over the next two months.
“We’ll just have to see,” he said.
The All-American Bowl is scheduled for Jan. 5 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.