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WVU's Trickett confident as starting QB

| Thursday, June 26, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Among those who were unsurprised this week over Clint Trickett being named West Virginia's starting quarterback was Clint Trickett.

“Ever since Oklahoma State last year, I've led like I've been the starter,” he said Thursday. “Because last time I checked, I was.”

Trickett started seven games last season, missing one with a concussion. After transferring from Florida State, he lost a tight competition during fall practice but took over in Game 5 against Oklahoma State after Paul Millard, who won the job, and Ford Childress were ineffective.

Despite suffering a shoulder injury that would require surgery, Trickett helped lead WVU to an upset of the No. 11 Cowboys. Overall, he had varying results as the Mountaineers went 4-8.

In January, orthopedist James Andrews repaired Trickett's damaged labrum, AC joint and rotator cuff.

“This game's tough enough as it is when you're healthy,” he said. “It makes it damn near impossible when you're hurt. But you got to go out there and play. Injuries are part of the game. People play hurt all the time.”

A fifth-year senior working toward his master's degree, Trickett sat out spring practice while Millard, junior college transfer Skyler Howard and Logan Moore battled things out. None were overly impressive. So it's back to Trickett.

“We feel like it's clear-cut or we wouldn't do it,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said. “It's gonna give him confidence. When you know you're the guy, when you've got the coaching staff fully behind you it changes your demeanor, it changes your attitude.

“It's only gonna help him in the long run. It's only gonna help our unit in the long run. So why not go ahead and do it?”

Going into fall practice as the starter “helps a lot of things,” Trickett said. “It helps the actual execution of plays, it helps your confidence because you know you're getting the reps, you know you're the guy. All the guys know it and helps their confidence. It is vital.”

Because of NCAA rules, Trickett has not thrown during organized drills the last few weeks. But he is allowed to throw on his own, and the reports from that, and the weight room, are encouraging. Trickett said he won't “divulge” how much he is throwing, but said the shoulder feels fine.

“I'm just getting better one day at a time and healing up,” said Trickett, whose father, Rick, is a Florida State assistant and former WVU assistant.

Now that he has the job firmly in his grasp, Trickett said he is not about to give it up.

“I don't want anyone to think they can do the job better than me,” he said. “So I don't want to give them the chance.”

Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bcohn@tribweb.com.

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