John Denver has done it again.
With the strains of “Country Roads” echoing in the recesses of his mind, Clint Trickett decided to follow the yellow brick road and announced he was transferring to West Virginia University, letting those country roads take him home to the place he belongs.
The son of former WVU offensive line coach Rick Trickett, who served two terms with the Mountaineers, young Trickett was born in Preston County, and while he played his prep ball in Florida and began his college career at Florida State, he has found there’s no place like home.
Trickett is due to graduate from Florida State this month, which will leave him two years of eligibility at WVU without sitting out a year.
Trickett spent two years backing up first-round draft choices at Florida State, first Christian Ponder and then this year EJ Manuel, the first quarterback selected in this year’s NFL draft.
Trickett played in 16 games at FSU, starting only two after Manuel separated a shoulder. The Seminoles lost both games, but Trickett set a career high passing for 336 yards in a five-point loss to Clemson.
He competed for the starting quarterback job this spring but lost out in a four-man battle to redshirt freshman Jamie Winston, who went 12 for 15 for 205 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game.
Shortly after that Trickett announced he would transfer. He looked at three schools – Auburn and South Florida, in addition to West Virginia.
However, between the need for a quarterback in a quarterback-friendly offense that has sent some big-time signal callers to the NFL, along with so many sweet memories of his youth, made WVU irresistible to him.
“You’re playing at the school where you were throwing the damn ball around on the sidelines before games with Pat White,” he told West Virginia Illustrated. “This is where you grew up; you have friends there; this is where you’re from; it’s where you’ve visited three times a year since you’ve left. This is home; these are your people; this is your state. It’s more than I could ever ask for.”
He comes into a wide-open situation with Geno Smith having gone to the New York Jets in the second round of this weekend’s NFL draft.
Junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress battled through the spring with neither taking control of the job.
While he is the most experienced of the group, he says even though other schools had offered him guarantees of a job he received no promises from coach Dana Holgorsen.
Holgorsen, however, sounded thrilled to have an experienced quarterback join the team.
“WVU football welcomes Clint Trickett home. He basically grew up in Morgantown, and I know he feels very comfortable here,” Holgorsen said in a prepared statement. “He’s an excellent student and grew up around the game of football, which shows in his composure on the field. I am excited that he has decided to finish his career as a Mountaineer.”
Trickett spoke of how growing up around the game of football in Morgantown influenced his decision.
“Pat White was a big influence; so was Rasheed (Marshall), in this whole process. I’ve got nothing but respect for those two guys. They’re great players, great quarterbacks,” he said.
“I’ve always been a quarterback; I’ve always looked up to them. Out of all the former players who have been talking to me, they say it’s crazy to think that the little kid who was playing tackle football in the end zone while they were practicing is now possibly going to be the quarterback at West Virginia. It’s cool, but now it’s time to get down to business, time to work.”
Email Bob Hertzel at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.
John Denver has done it again.
North Marion goes 2-for-2; Fairmont Senior 0-for-2 in tournament
A day after an 11-0 mercy-rule victory at Philip Barbour, the North Marion Huskies were at it again.
Chelsi Latocha threw three no-hit innings, Shelby King drove in five runs in the first inning and the Huskies rolled to a 20-0 victory over the winless Fairmont Senior Polar Bears in the Diamond Dawg Tournament at North Marion High School.
Brewers’ Lohse beats Pirates again
Kyle Lohse pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Carlos Gomez homered and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Friday night.
Lohse (3-1) improved to 11-2 in his career against the Pirates, allowing one earned run in a win against them for the second time in six days.
Bucs trade for Mets’ Ike Davis
The New York Mets traded slumping first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night, parting ways with a power hitter who proved to be too inconsistent at the plate.
Pittsburgh sent minor league right-hander Zack Thornton and a player to be named to New York for the 27-year-old Davis.
Penguins wary of Blue Jackets after Game 1 escape
Sidney Crosby is used to the attention. It comes with the territory when you’re the best hockey player in the world.
Still, the Pittsburgh Penguins star knows the spotlight becomes more acute in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
East’s Postlewait, North’s Latocha toss no-hitters
Tori Postlewait made a deal with her great-uncle, Kenny Carpenter, before her freshman season.
If the Bees’ pitcher tossed a no-hitter, Carpenter promised to give her $20.
Well, it took four years, but it’s finally time for Postlewait’s great-uncle to pay up.
East tennis splits with Polar Bears
Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont split a pair of tennis matches Thursday, with Fairmont Senior winning the boys’ match and East Fairmont taking the girls’ competition.
In the Bees’ 6-1 girls’ victory, Cara Laswell took second singles, 8-2. Erica Gorman won third singles, 8-1. And Carrington Reese won fourth singles, 8-3.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules
At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.
McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers
Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma
Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.
FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing
Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.
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