Some people still don’t know the difference between West Virginia and Virginia. West Virginia is, indeed, its own state. So, the WVU football game against Virginia Tech is not an in-state battle.
It is a border rivalry, though. A lot of people in the southern part of West Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of the state have deep ties on the other side of that border in Virginia. In fact, Bluefield is a town that shares the Virginia and West Virginia border.
Virginia Tech and WVU are the two biggest programs in West Virginia and Virginia. There are fans of the Hokies who reside in the Mountain State and some Mountaineer fans in the commonwealth of Virginia.
There aren’t any natives of Virginia who play for the WVU football team, though. However, there are two Virginia native who will suit up for the Mountaineers when the Battle for the Black Diamond Trophy is renewed at FedEx Field.
Gary Jennings Jr. and Lorenzo Dorr were both born and raised in Virginia and now play for the Mountaineers, according to WVUsports.com. Virginia is more of a hotbed for high school football than West Virginia is, so it’s only natural for some players to cross state lines to join the WVU football team.
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Playing against their home state, Jennings and Dorr will want to have the best games of their career. It’s safe to say a lot of people and former teammates in their hometowns will be watching this game intently, probably more so than any other regular season game.
Jennings has a much better chance at showing out that Dorr does. Dorr is a backup running back and Jennings is one of the team’s best wide receivers. Jennings is a junior from Stafford, Virginia. He began playing right away for the Mountaineers when he arrived on campus in 2015.
Jennings starred at Colonial Forge High School. According to 247sports.com, he chose the WVU football team over other attractive offers from Notre Dame, North Carolina and a different program from his home state, the Virginia Cavaliers.
Dorr just enrolled at WVU in January as a transfer from West Virginia Wesleyan. That’s a huge step up, so it may take him a few years to see the field. He comes from Fredericksburg, Virginia where he played at Riverbend High School as a defensive standout. He will still be providing key depth for the Mountaineers’ stable of running backs this season. In a few years he may crack the depth chart.
While there are only two players who crossed state lines, both Virginia Tech and the WVU football team have a whole host of players who remained in-state to play for the teams they may have grown up watching.
For the WVU football team, there are 35 West Virginia natives. For Virginia Tech, there are 55 Virginia natives. No matter who they are or where they came from, the more than 100 players on both teams are now full-fledged members of the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Virginia Tech Hokies.