Florida State transfer could become face of the Mountaineers

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 11:12 p.m.

New West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett, a recent transfer from Florida State, has more career starts (two) than Paul Millard and Ford Childress have between them (zero).

Trickett competed 62 percent of his passes for 947 yards and seven touchdowns in 17 games at Florida State. If Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen desires a quarterback who is comfortable reading defenses and who makes accurate throws, Trickett could have the inside track on the starting job this season.

“I don't coach college football. I can't tell you how complicated it is or isn't. But I know Clint,” said Tim Cokely, who coached Trickett at North Florida Christian in Tallahassee, Fla., where he threw for more than 5,300 yards and 59 touchdowns. “He's going to be able to rally those guys in the huddle. He's going to understand where the ball needs to go, and he has the talent to get it there.”

Trickett threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start against Clemson in 2011 when E.J. Manuel was injured. Trickett was replaced a week later against Wake Forest after tossing two interceptions and losing a fumble. He didn't start again.

A three-star recruit in high school, Trickett transferred to WVU following Florida State's spring game in which he competed against three other quarterbacks.

“I felt inconsistent, up and down,” Trickett said of his performance in the spring game (22 of 32 for 259 yards, one touchdown and an interception). “There were times when I threw a good ball and there were times when I was like, ‘What are you doing?' especially with the (interception). You've got to try and manage it, you can't force things.”

Florida State redshirt freshman quarterback Jameis Winston appeared to nail down the starting job after completing 12 of 15 for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the scrimmage. “He took advantage of opportunities,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said.

Trickett will compete against Millard and Childress, who did not appear to distinguish themselves at WVU's spring game on April 20, according to Holgorsen.

Millard played in 10 games in two seasons as Geno Smith's backup. He passed for 211 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Childress has not played in a college game.

“Not only are we not ready to name a starter at quarterback, we're not ready to do that at about 20 other positions,” Holgorsen said before Trickett's transfer.

Trickett will graduate in May with a degree in social science from Florida State. He is scheduled to be a redshirt junior this fall and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Trickett, a devout fan of the NHL's Penguins, is familiar with Morgantown, located about an hour from Pittsburgh. He grew up playing pickup football at Mountaineer Field. His father, Rick Trickett, the Florida State offensive line coach, was an assistant under former WVU coach Rich Rodriguez from 2001-06.

When the Penguins visited the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 11, Trickett tweeted, “Wishin I was in Tampa for the Pens/lightning game #lets go pens.

“I think the fact that he liked it when he lived there before helps,” said Cokely, now the coach at Tallahassee Leon High School. “He's a country guy.

“Clint's got a lot of poise — he's polished. Certainly the nuances — the little things — are in place for him to be successful.”

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at jharris@tribweb.com or via Twitter @JHarris_Trib.

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