After spending last season with the Atlanta Falcons, former Texas Tech and Frenship quarterback Seth Doege is headed to Canada to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.
The Roughriders, who won the Grey Cup Championship in 2013, contacted Doege about a week ago and signed him Wednesday night.
“I had a little bit of interest from NFL teams, but not enough to gain a workout or sign a contract,” Doege said Thursday. “The next step for me was to try to get on a CFL roster. The league has always intrigued me with how they spread it out and how they always throw the football. It’s a great league for anyone that wants to continue playing football.”
Former Tech quarterback Graham Harrell and Tech receiver-turned-assistant coach Eric Morris also played briefly for Saskatchewan.
Spending a season on the Falcons practice squad, Doege was able to learn from two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Ryan, who was named the Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.
“To me he was the ultimate professional with the way he treated people, the way he approached practice,” Doege said. “There’s a reason they want this guy as the face of their franchise. I just watched everything he did almost as if I was taking notes by the way he walked. The way he approached the team after a win, the way he approached the team after a loss.
“It was a really good experience for me. He was a huge influence on me, treated me well. There were a ton of things I learned that helped me grow.”
Doege said he also grew tremendously as a player from Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who was the head coach at Boise State then Arizona State before moving to the NFL in 2007, and quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas, who began his coaching career as a student assistant at Texas Tech from 1998-2001.
Now Doege joins two experienced quarterbacks: Darian Durant, a former North Carolina Tar Heel and Tino Suseri, a former Pittsburgh Panther, on the Roughriders’ roster.
“(Durant) has been the guy for them for about five or six years,” Doege said. “I think it’s going to be another great opportunity for me to go up there and learn from another elite quarterback who’s one of the big-time quarterbacks in that league and won a Grey Cup for them last year. It’s another opportunity to grow from another elite quarterback and learn as much as I can until it’s my time to play.”
In his career at Texas Tech, Doege completed 819 of 1,187 passes for 8,646 yards and 69 touchdowns to just 26 interceptions. In his final game for the scarlet and black, Doege was named most valuable player of the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in a 34-31 comeback win over Minnesota.
“Anytime you have to learn an NFL offense, I think you grow mentally as a player,” Doege said. “That aspect is just different concepts, different protections. It’s almost like the grad school level of football because there’s no school, just football, so you can really grow in that aspect.”
Right now, Doege is still living in Lubbock, spending time with his wife and his dog until he reports for training camp in May. In his spare time, he’s enjoyed helping develop young quarterbacks and was joined by former Red Raider quarterback Cody Hodges at the Air It Out Passing Academy in Dallas last weekend.
“It’s run by a guy named Alan Wartes who was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Hardin-Simmons for a number of years,” Doege said. “He started this camp, I think in 1990. I went to it as a little kid. It’s kind of where I learned how to throw a football correctly. He taught me. I developed a special relationship with him. He’s close with Cody, and over the years I’ve developed a relationship with Cody too.”
Last weekend, Doege worked with seventh through ninth graders and in a few weeks he’ll go back to work with high school-aged kids, he said.
“I really enjoy helping to develop young guys and help work from the feet up — the footwork, the mechanics of the lower body, up to the mechanics of the upper body and how to correctly throw a football,” Doege said. “It’s just as technical as if you’re a 3-point shooter. It needs to be the same every time you do it, but you might have to tweak it to make different throws.”
Doege is also tossing around the idea of working with young quarterbacks in the Lubbock area and when his playing days are done, whenever that might be, it’s possible Doege will join the growing list of former Red Raiders who move on to coaching.
“I’ve thought about coaching,” he said. “There’s a lot of different opportunities out there. I’d have to sit down when that time comes and decide which route I want to take, but coaching is one. My dad was a football coach and I have a lot of connections in that profession. I’ll have to sit down and see which route I want to take and what I want to do next, but for now all I want to do is play football.”
Whatever he decides to do after football, Doege will always be a familiar face in West Texas.
“Lubbock is home to me. That’s where I’m at,” he said. “That’s my home base. If I have anything to do about it, this is where I’ll be when I’m done playing football. Right now I’m working out, staying sharp, getting ready to go to minicamp, ready to roll, ready to compete.”
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