Before Doug Nester was a 4-star offensive line prospect, and before he was an Ohio State verbal commitment, he was a Buckeye fan.
Just a leisurely three-hour drive to the OSU campus from his home in Huntington, West Virginia, Nester has followed the Buckeyes for years, citing players like Terrelle Pryor, Braxton Miller, Taylor Decker, and Joey Bosa as some of his favorites growing up.
It was a little over a year ago that his dream of playing for Ohio State began to show some glimpses of becoming a reality. It was then that OSU reached out to Nester for the first time.
“I was so excited,” Nester told The-Ozone while pausing for a few minutes from helping a friend change a flat tire. “They told my coach that they wanted to come up there and visit for a junior day. It was a good day.”
And what did his family think of the situation?
“They thought it was nuts because they knew that it was my dream school, so they were excited for me,” he said.
The visit went well for both parties and about six weeks later, Ohio State offered.
“I knew pretty much that I was going to be a Buckeye then, but there were some other options,” Nester said. “My top two were Virginia Tech and Ohio State. It was a hard choice between those two. I wanted to stay close to home so that my family could come and watch me.”
His family was happy for him and perfectly fine with his decision if he wanted to be a Buckeye. In fact, they never tried to steer him anywhere. They simply supported his search and whatever it was that he needed.
In August of 2017, Nester finally pulled the trigger and verbally committed to Ohio State. And it wasn’t because the OSU coaches were putting any pressure on him to do so, he just felt like the time was right.
“They put no pressure on me at all,” he said. “I didn’t really like the recruitment process, so I just wanted to get it over with, and I knew where I wanted to go. If I knew where I wanted to go, why not just go ahead and do it? There was no point in messing around.”
Nester is the No. 52 player in the nation, but he’s still No. 1 in terms of the number of OSU verbal commitments so far. He did his best to change the latter number this past weekend while visiting Ohio State for a Junior Day for offensive linemen. The coaches brought him up in front of all of the offensive linemen in attendance to talk about his experiences and what made OSU right for him.
The main reason for his visit, however, was just to continue to build relationships.
“I’m just trying to get more comfortable with the coaches and trying to build that relationship with the coaches more every time I come up,” he said. “I’m especially trying to build up a relationship with the players too.”
Doug Nester is a year away from being where he’s always wanted to be, and he knew from his first visit that he was home.
“It was always a dream school of mine growing up,” he said. “Once I got on campus and looked around and talked to the coaches, I really knew it was for me. I love the coaching staff. I love how they work. The history there is amazing.”
Part of that history is the rivalry with Michigan, which is something that Nester is looking forward to quite a bit.
“Oh my goodness. I can’t wait,” he said. “Ooh, that gets me excited to try and get that first pair of gold pants and give them to my mom.”
Knowing where his allegiances leaned, the Buckeye coaches didn’t hesitate to use the Michigan game as a recruiting tool.
“They homed in on it because they knew I was a Buckeye fan growing up,” he said. “They definitely got me excited about it.”