The Times West Virginian

Sports

July 14, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Trickett isn’t soft, vows to play his heart out

MORGANTOWN — We all don’t know exactly how well either West Virginia University or starting quarterback Clint Trickett will fare this football fall.

But there’s no doubt in my mind that the home-grown Trickett will give his all — anything within his grasp and ability — as the designated leader of the Mountaineer offense with experience.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior returned to Morgantown a year ago. He settled what seemed a trial-and-error guessing game by starting seven contests and playing in an eighth.

He completed 123-of-233 passes for 1,605 yards and seven touchdowns. His completion percentage was 52.8.

Come what may, Trickett, who played for Florida State, mostly as a backup, for two seasons after being redshirted for a year, recently said hearing a rendition of “Country Roads” really was motivating to him.

He readily admitted at a recent interview session with reporters that it led him to grab the opportunity to return home to WVU last year. He graduated in three years from FSU with two years of eligibility remaining.

Trickett declared, “I love this place and I love the people here, though sometimes they don’t love me.“ He played one year as a freshman at Morgantown High School before moving with his family to Tallahassee, Florida.

A native of the Masontown area of Preston County, Trickett said he still has numerous fond memories of West Virginia. Many of his boyhood buddies remain close friends and area residents.

So does Rick Trickett, his famous father. He also had grown up in Preston, served as offensive line coach for WVU for a stretch and now fills the same role at FSU.

The Seminoles captured the National Football Championship in 2013. And he’s certainly proud of that.

Clint revealed that during sleepless nights at FSU, he watched a WVU football highlight tape and that turned out to be one of his best remedies.

“I would watch (the tape) and it would get me jazzed up for the next day,” Trickett said. “Every time ‘Country Roads’ comes on, I get chills.”

His ties to West Virginia were so strong that he skipped school and drove from Tallahassee to West Virginia one weekend for a short visit. “Don’t tell my mom, though,” he urged reporters (jokingly, we assumed).

Make no mistake, Trickett learned long ago what sports — especially football — really, truly mean to the state of West Virginia and the university. You can tell in the tone of his voice he’s most sincere.

“You can say what you want about me as a player,” Trickett said reassuringly. “But you’re going to get a guy who plays his heart out. And you’re going to get a guy who plays when he’s hurt.”

Trickett proved just that in 2013.

He suffered two concussions and continued to see action, despite injury to a shoulder.

Trickett reportedly has recovered fully following surgery last January.

Trickett suggested that he would accept anyone saying he’s not a good player. “But you can’t call me soft,” he said.

Any such allegation would be absolutely unjustified and untrue from what I’ve learned from and about Clint Trickett.

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