Florida State transfer Trickett will be facing another test at WVU
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The only thing moving faster for Clint Trickett than the past year of his life is the pre-snap read progression he has to make during West Virginia practice drills.
Since completing his redshirt junior season at Florida State last fall, Trickett has taken his final undergraduate courses and graduated, been through a four-man quarterback competition at the Seminoles' spring practice, elected to transfer, endured a whole new recruiting process and moved back to the place he considers home — Morgantown.
Oh, and he's undergone a crash course in a complex, fast-progression style offense, too.
It's all worth it now that he's doing what he has always wanted to do: Play quarterback for the Mountaineers.
“I'm a West Virginia kid,” said Trickett, whose father, Rick, was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at WVU during his formative years from 2001-06.
Trickett said he has come back to visit as much as possible since he moved to Tallahassee in 2006. He wasn't a good fit for the Bill Stewart/Jeff Mullen offense so he wasn't seriously recruited while in high school.
After losing out in annual quarterback competitions to future NFL first-round pick EJ Manuel, Trickett explored a return to Morgantown. He even loaded up his coursework last fall in an attempt to graduate as early as possible and take advantage of the NCAA rule that allows for immediate eligibility for transfers who have earned their bachelor's degree.
Trickett came up one class short, so he stayed at Florida State in the spring. Armed with his degree in social sciences — and apparent that he likely faced another season as a backup — he decided to transfer, choosing West Virginia over South Florida and Auburn.
“I came on a visit (to WVU), but I knew I was coming here,” Trickett said. “It was a no-brainer.”
Brains have never been a problem for Trickett — he graduated high school early with a 3.8 GPA and earned academic awards his first two years at Florida State. But that hasn't made understanding coach Dana Holgorsen's “Air Raid” offense come any easier.
“To completely grasp it, I'm not sure when, or if, I'll ever be there,” Trickett said.
“It is a completely different style of offense than I am used to. I went from a pro-style offense to an Air Raid, fast-tempo offense. Everything is really different and there are new guys to adjust to.”
Familiarity with the offense is the biggest obstacle Trickett faces as he competes against junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress for the starting job.
“He's right now got the look when he's looking at me on the sidelines and I'm signaling, he just kind of stares right through me,” Holgorsen said of Trickett after the first practice of camp, “because it's not automatic to him right now, which is to be expected.”
But Trickett is embracing the challenge. As a kid, he sometimes accompanied his father during recruiting visits. He still keeps in touch with players such as former Mountaineers quarterbacks Pat White and Rasheed Marshall and called them for advice and guidance after the transfer.
Trickett's unique perspective as a coach's son helped steer him to West Virginia — a place where it would seem he could have a tougher time earning a starting job.
“Some other schools were quick to say, ‘It's yours if you want it,' ” Trickett said. “I didn't really like that...
“I just trusted what (Holgorsen) said: ‘Hey, I'm not promising you anything, but you're going to get chances.' That's all I can ask for.”