MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–West Virginia’s Reese Donahue is embarking on his final ride with the Mountaineers and it’s been a journey that he won’t soon forget.
Heading into his senior season, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive end is goal driven to make his final year his best yet.
Last season Donahue registered 24 tackles for the season, including 13 solo stops, one sack, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in 11 games. However, that wasn’t good enough.
“First off, everybody’s goal here is to win a Big 12,” he said.” That’s probably the number one goal. Two, I’d like to be a leader for these guys on the d-line. Three, I’d like to have a good year. I’d like to be a first team All-Big 12 guy. I’d like to be a five, six, seven sack guy. I’d love to be a 50-tackle guy. I was close two years ago. I was at 40 tackles two years ago. I’d like to do close to that again. Mainly, my biggest thing is I want to be that leader for those guys. When I leave here I want to leave a legacy of work ethic, leadership, a good heart, a better person off the field than on the field.”
As a senior with a lot of game action, Donahue has the eyes of a young and inexperienced d-line on him.
“He’s a very vocal and lead by example dude,” sophomore Dante Stills said. “He talks to us on the field, tries to be positive, gives us feedback. On the field and off the field, we always see what he’s doing. He does everything pretty much right so you have to go after him and his energy.”
The Milton native believes that leading is something that needs to be done both on and off the field, which is what he strives to do.
“I’ll always be a good person on and off the field,” Donahue said. “That’s just who I am. That’s my character. That’s something that I’ll continue to improve but that’s not something I have to actively focus on because I am not going to go out an be stupid. I’m not going to go downtown and get in bar fights. I’m not going to go drink and stuff. For me, I want to be a leader socially. I want to be a leader like when we go to the hospital, I want them to know me as Reese, the guy that goes to the hospital because he visits me because I’m sick, not the football player. I want to go out and do good in the community and things like that.”
Wearing the gold and blue and representing his school, team and state to the best of his ability is something Donahue cherishes.
It’s been an honor to play at WVU because Donahue knows how important the Mountaineers are to the 1.8 million people in the state and to the ones who no longer live in the Mountain State.
“For me, growing up, this is all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he said. “I had no aspirations of taking it any further than this. Really, I didn’t know if I was ever going to be able to play here or ride the bench here, let alone getting an opportunity to step on the field and play. It’s been phenomenal for me. Now that I’m on this platform, I want to use it completely to the full advantage and I don’t just mean football. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t working hard in academics, I wasn’t working hard socially.
“All these things. If you aren’t using the university to your full potential, you are the one actually coming out in the hole because the university will use you. Not in a bad way, not in a negative connotation but in a positive way. They are going to use you to sell tickets. They’re going to use you on the field. They’re going house you to better the younger guys so for me I want to use them to my full advantage and to better the community around me, to better the people around me, to better the state and the university. “
Cover Photo Credit: Shanna Rose, BGS