The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

June 27, 2014

HERTZEL COLUMN: Taking charge key objective for Trickett

MORGANTOWN — Everything was seeming perfect in Clint Trickett’s life.

Just a day or so earlier, his coach, Dana Holgorsen, had named him West Virginia University’s starting quarterback entering the 2014 season.

That put an end to any doubt about a lot of things … firstly his health, his surgically repaired rotator cup having improved enough that Holgorsen felt he’d be ready by opening day against that team from down south … what’s its name? Oh, yeah, Alabama.

Then it put an end to any real competition at the position … making sure Trickett didn’t push himself too hard in his recovery battling against Paul Millard, Logan Moore, Skylar Howard or the highly regarded freshman newcomer from Baltimore, William Crest.

And finally, West Virginia finally had a leader, something it lacked badly last year as Trickett was unable to take the reins because his torn rotator cup kept him from doing his job as a healthy Clint Trickett could do it.

Yeah, things were perfect.

He’s spent the spring and summer traveling a lot, went to Florida and saw his dad, the former WVU line coach Rick Trickett now holding the same job for Jimbo Fisher on the national champion Florida State Seminoles team he had transferred away from.

While he was down there it wasn’t all family visiting, though. He did some deep-sea fishing, went to Atlantic City for the first time and says he doesn’t know if he’s going to go back, which might tell you that he didn’t complete many passes at the dice table.

“At least I stayed in Ocean City. That was more my speed,” he said.

He’d also gone to Los Angeles for the national championship game and had traveled some down in Florida to go get his shoulder checked by the noted surgeon who operated upon it, Dr. James Andrews, shoulder doctor to the stars.

“When I was in L.A., I was expecting to see some stars, but when I was in Dr. Andrews’ office I saw more famous people there than when I was in L.A. for a week. To my left was (St. Louis Rams’ offensive tackle) Jake Long, (Denver Broncos’ linebacker) Von Miller, Gronkowski (Rob Gronkowski, Patriots’ tight end), even Terry Bradshaw was there,” he said. “I was star struck. That was pretty cool.”

Now, summer workouts were going full swing and he was getting himself ready for the new year, chasing the Big 12 championship and a master’s degree in communications.

He was ready to move into his new digs in town, having rented a U-Haul and packed it to it’s the top.

“We rented this 26-foot U-Haul, the size of a bus,” Trickett said. “Me and two movers, we packed it up and said, ‘Let’s go.’ Then we couldn’t find the keys. It was a long day. We had to unload it, go through everything until we found the keys, then pack it up again.

“It was a long day and I don’t want to talk about it. It was one of the longer days of my life except for Baylor, that’s for sure,” he added.

But that was last year, and he’s putting it in the past, which is where it belongs as he takes charge of the football team.

Taking charge of the team is what this is all about, for them and for Trickett himself.

“That group, in our minds, needs leadership,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said of the offense and why they opted to name Trickett the starter early in the summer. “They look to him anyway. We felt it was clear cut he can do it. It will give him confidence. When you know you’re the guy, you know you have the confidence of the coaching staff. It changes your demeanor; it changes your attitude. It’s only going to help him.”

Dawson said it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment thing.

“This isn’t something that just happened. We talked about it a long time. There’s no doubt in our mind that he’s the best option,” Dawson said. “This unit, right here, was looking for somebody to be the leader. It’s hard to be the leader when you’re not the starter. You can have all the intangibles in the world, but if you are not the starter you can’t be the leader.”

And Trickett understands that a team needs one quarterback … one man to be the centerpiece, and he also understands that with him being selected as that man he can move forward as a player.

“It’s huge,” Trickett said. “They know who to look to. I don’t have to focus on that. I can worry about getting my game together and not worrying about whether they will make a decision.”

Last year it was different. He couldn’t start working with the team until August and was too busy learning the position, the signals. He was in competition with Millard and Ford Childress for the job.

“Last year in camp we all worried, each of us wanting to win the job. Maybe we worried about that too much instead of getting the team better. We won’t have that problem this year,” he said.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads