When Clint Trickett transferred to West Virginia from Florida State in May 2013, he knew his role would be increased heavily. But, few could predict the setbacks he would have to encounter throughout the 2013 season.
After starting just two games at quarterback in his two seasons as a Seminole, Trickett came to Morgantown in hopes of being named the starting quarterback during his redshirt junior season. After induring injuries and a sense of uncertainty surrounding the entire Mountaineer squad all season, he wasn’t able to accomplish what he desired in 2013.
After being named the starter in June, Trickett has the opportunity to lead his own team without the worries of fighting for a starting position.
“He’s done a great job of just taking over that group, and I think everyone in that group looks to him, no doubt,” said offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Shannon Dawson. “That’s what we wanted to get accomplished back in the summer when we named him the starter.”
With the luxury of knowing the starting job is his, Dawson said the comfort level he’s seen out of Trickett has been way beyond where it was a season ago.
“He’s probably a little bit ahead of what I envisioned,” Dawson said. “A year makes a big difference in the make-up of a quarterback – there’s no doubt. He will tell you that himself.”
In addition to the experience Trickett has been able to gain in the past year, he’s gained even more confidence in West Virginia’s offense.
Dawson said a lot of it has to do with the players who are saving Trickett on every play - his offensive line.
“It has a lot to do with (the) experience around him too,” he said. “Having a lot of capable bodies around you at quarterback helps, especially up front. Those five guys are doing a great job, which makes our job a lot easier.”
Coming off offseason shoulder surgery, which caused him to miss spring practice, having strength up front will be important for Trickett. He said he knows the potential his offensive line holds this season.
“The offensive line has played (phenomenally) as a whole – they’ve been blocking six guys with five guys,” he said. “All of the running backs have stepped up, and, as a whole, we have really improved.”
Dawson said, although it wasn’t ideal to miss the entire spring, Trickett used all the resources he had to make sure he’d be back for the season.
“He took advantage of his time off. He was involved and focused,” he said.
Trickett said the chemistry among his teammates has drastically improved this year, especially with the Mountaineers returning 55 players from the 2013 squad.
“Right now, we really do have continuity as an offense,” he said. “Coaches have preached on it, and we really are tight. We are so tight.”