WVU QB Trickett wants wins

MORGANTOWN – West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen didn’t make it a big deal whenever he told Clint Trickett he would be the starting quarterback for Mountaineers for the 2014 season.

Trickett wouldn’t have it any other way.

He’s not that kind of guy.

Trickett, who is recovering from undergoing off-season shoulder surgery and sat out for all of spring practices, said the announcement not only helped his own confidence, but that of the team as well.

“I can focus on my game and getting the team better instead of, ‘oh, is (Holgorsen) going to make the decision? ” the redshirt senior said. “All of us (quarterbacks) were worried last year in camp. We all wanted to win it. Maybe we worried about that too much instead of getting the team better. We won’t have that problem this year.”

While Trickett wasn’t directly under center during the Mountaineers’ spring camp, he was still taking signals from Holgorsen to improve his communication, an area that needs a major upgrade if West Virginia hopes to improve on its 4-8 season from a year ago.

“Whenever Dana would signal it in, I would stand behind the play. I was out there as far as that was concerned,” Trickett said. “I was signaling to the guys, everything like that. Obviously, I wasn’t running plays, but as far as that part, I’ve got that down.

“This offense produces a lot of good quarterbacks. I wasn’t one of them last year. I’d like to be one this year – numbers wise, wins wise, everything. Hopefully, I can get better. Staying healthy, that’s one of the main keys. You just have to trust the offense and trust the coaches.”

Trickett transferred to West Virginia from Florida State a season ago after competing with eventual Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston for the Seminoles’ starting job.

In his first start for the Mountaineers last fall, Trickett led WVU to an upset victory against No. 11 Oklahoma State. He completed just under half of his passes (24-of-50) and threw for over 300 yards and a touchdown in the victory, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for WVU.

While he looked as though he was the answer to some of the Mountaineers’ offensive problems, Trickett separated his shoulder midway through the game. The injury hindered him the rest of the season. He finished the season completing 52.8 percent of his passes for 1,605 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, and won two of his seven starts.

“I was healthy for one game last year – at least for three quarters – and we did all right,” Trickett said. “This game is tough enough as is being healthy. It’s darn near impossible when you’re hurt. You have to go out there and play. Injuries are part of the game. People play injured all time. It’s nothing new. I don’t deserve a badge or anything. It’s just part of the game.”

It’s that kind of mentality that draws teammates to Trickett as a leader. He’ll always put the team first, never himself.

Trickett, who is working on obtaining a masters in communication, beat out fellow redshirt senior Paul Millard and junior college transfer Skyler Howard without even throwing a pass, leaving many to wonder how much depth there is if Trickett should suffer another injury.

With the Mountaineers’ impressive stable of running backs, the offense might not have to directly run through Trickett, something his 6-foot-2, 180-pound frame might be thankful for when defenses such as Alabama and Oklahoma come after him.

The only thing on Trickett’s mind right now, however, is getting those ‘Ws.’

“I come to win,” he said. “If I throw five picks and still win, I’m happy. If I throw five touchdowns and we lose, I’m not happy. I want to win some games. That’s all I’ve been about. I’m not about me at all.”