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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @bhertzel.
John Denver has done it again.
Polar Bears beat Grafton, advance in state tournament
No. 1 Fairmont Senior (21-1) used a 16-5 run in the second half to pull away from No. 8 Grafton (17-5) and advance to the Class AA girls’ basketball semifinals, 56-41, on Wednesday evening at the Charleston Civic Center.
Lady Huskies upset in quarterfinals
Leading by five points with 5:40 left in the fourth quarter, the third-seeded North Marion Lady Huskies had the game right where they wanted it.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Buie, Mendenhall the latest RBs to shun the spotlight
This past August, Andrew Buie, a talented West Virginia University running back who had been the team’s leading rusher the previous season, left the team and returned home, saying he needed to take the season off.
County teams looking to go dancing
Two county teams are looking to punch their tickets to the Class AA boys’ state basketball tournament in Charleston when they take the court today.
WVU faces unwelcome opponent to kick off Big 12 tournament
If West Virginia University’s players and coaches could have voted on the one team they didn’t want to meet in the first round of the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, it would have been the University of Texas, but as fate would have it the Mountaineers take the floor facing none other than the Longhorns of Austin.
FSHS, NMHS ready for redemption in Charleston
Come Saturday, a new Class AA girls’ state basketball champion will be crowned.
WVU-Alabama game to bring in $3.2M
Perhaps you wondered why West Virginia University athletic director Oliver Luck would schedule national power Alabama to open a football season in which his team is coming off a 4-8 year and is filled with questions, including at quarterback.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Carey transforms WVU women into national contender
This column was supposed to come the day after West Virginia University had beaten Baylor in the final of the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships, the day after the Mountaineers had performed one more last-minute miracle and enjoyed a second moment of cutting down the nets with a championship trophy theirs.
FURFARI COLUMN- Heartbreaking loss for WVU; another great honor for Clara
Oh, so close, but just not quite good enough.
That was the West Virginia University women’s 74-71 loss to defending champion Baylor in the Big 12 Conference Tournament final Monday night at Oklahoma City.
WVU loses close battle to Baylor, 74-71
West Virginia University’s dream of a Big 12 Tournament championship did not come true, but it wasn’t because they didn’t play like champions.
- More Sports Headlines
- Polar Bears beat Grafton, advance in state tournament