The Times West Virginian

January 10, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Saban, Fisher make home state proud

By Mickey Furfari
Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — It seems absolutely amazing that two West Virginia natives, who grew up just about 15 miles apart, orchestrated major college football teams to three BCS national championships in as many years.

Jimbo Fisher of Clarksburg turned the trick last Monday night, guiding Florida State to its nail-biting 34-31 victory against Auburn in the BCS title-taking tussle at Pasadena, Calif.

That conquest by the Seminoles, thanks to a game-winning touchdown near the end, obviously was for the 2013 football campaign.

You will recall that Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who was born in the Fairmont area, led his teams to the national championship in 2011 and 2012.

What’s more, Saban’s 2009 team had captured the crown.

So the number actually is four within five years for these remarkable West Virginia masterful state-born football mentors.

Alabama’s championship wins were against Texas 37-21, LSU 21-0, and Notre Dame 42-14. Only time will tell whether Jimbo Fisher can get on a winning streak as Nick Saban did .

Adding to West Virginia football fans’ interest in Florida State’s success is that Rick Trickett coaches the Seminoles’ offensive line. He is a Preston County native who grew up in Morgantown.

Trickett, who also was Mountaineer offensive line coach under Frank Cignetti at WVU between 1976-79 and Rich Rodriguez from 2001-06, also happens to be the proud father of Clint Trickett, WVU’s top quarterback in 2013.

The youngster had played two years at FSU before transferring here. Clint has one more year of eligibility as a Mountaineer.

Trickett had an opportunity to accompany other members of his family, during WVU’s long semester break, to California and watch his former teammates defeat Auburn in that tight title contest.

He graduated from Florida State with honors in three years.

o o o o o o

While on the West Coast, Clint Trickett had Dr. James Andrews, a famed shoulder injury specialist, examine his throwing arm shoulder. The surgeon confirmed that Trickett had a torn labrum.

He gave Trickett a shot of cortisone last Saturday and planned to check the shoulder again in one week.

Trickett separated his shoulder and tore the labrum of his throwing arm in WVU’s 30-21 upset win against No. 11-ranked Oklahoma State on Sept. 28.

The injury occurred when he was hit while throwing an incomplete pass in the first half of that game. But he never revealed the throwing arm problem.

Eventually Trickett also suffered two concussions and pain. But he started six of the team’s final seven games.

It is most unfortunate that his labrum tear reportedly was not discussed until after the 2013 season ended.

Could Clint Trickett’s final season of his football career be in jeopardy?

It all apparently hinges on what Dr. Andrews finds out and recommends after his second look at the labrum tear.

If surgery is decided, a six-month recovery might be needed, according to published newspaper reports.

Let’s hope that won’t be the situation. Trickett is a talented, courageous young man.