Ohio State verbal Doug Nester, 5-star Darnell Wright working past not-so-friendly rivalry

Jeremy Birminghamabout 3 years
Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham



FRISCO, Texas — Imagine the fairy-tale, feel-good recruitment for two Ohio State targets born and raised just minutes from each other.

Two high school football prospects who lean on each other as big-time college football programs discover and recruit them? That’s a good story. They become peers, friends, confidants and work tirelessly with one another to improve — iron-sharpening iron.

That’s how it’s supposed to go.

That is not the story of Ohio State commitment Doug Nester and 5-star prospect Darnell Wright.

Though their high schools are separated by just 10 miles and the two offensive linemen are separated by just one position in the 247Sports.com composite rankings in the state of West Virginia, there are rumors that the two have let their high school sports rivalry develop into personal dislike.

That’s kind of true. At least it was.

“It was for a minute, I’m not going to lie,” Wright, of Huntington High School, told Lettermen Row. “It’s not like I hated him personally, but on the football field, I wanted to beat him every time. ‘I don’t care about him.’

“Then it kind of developed into where I let it get to me personally. I think I’ve matured past that. He’s just a player. I realize that I don’t know why I’d let a person stop from me an opportunity.”

That opportunity, obviously, is the chance to play at Ohio State. The program remains a top contender for Wright following his most recent trip to Columbus. If he chose Ohio State, there’s a good chance he’d line up alongside his former rival on the Buckeyes offensive line.

Nester tried to downplay the rivalry aspect, chalking it up more to just being focused on his team at Spring Valley High School and its success.

“Our teams are really big rivals,” he said. “We’re the two biggest recruits in West Virginia, and we go against each other in the game whenever we play each other. I think that’s where it came from”

Here in Dallas, the two have finally, for the first time, spent a moment or two actually talking to one another. Those conversations have gone “pretty well” according to Nester, who said he’s not really comfortable talking to most people.

Maybe a friendship could still develop? Nester, like Wright, is over the manufactured animosity and has said he’d be happy to welcome Wright to the Buckeyes 2019 recruiting class.

“I’m not worried about it,” Nester said.

So, there’s still time for a happy ending to come together at Ohio State.