Trickett Shows Experience in First WVU Practice - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Trickett Shows Experience in First WVU Practice

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MORGANTOWN -

A flock of reporters gathered by their designated entrance to Milan Puskar Stadium Thursday, waiting on the 5 p.m. start time to the 30 minutes of West Virginia football practice that they would get to witness.

When they got the go ahead to enter, many of those mulling about made a beeline to the quarterbacks, armed with pens and pads and cameras.

There wasn't really much other choice since every other player on the team was busy stretching, but the quarterbacks – who do their individual work right by the tunnel through which the media enters – were the obvious position to check out on the first day of fall camp.

No. 14 on the field and No. 7 received attention, sure, but the focus was No. 9 in the gold jersey. It was Clint Trickett's first day, after all, and there were those who wanted to see what all of the hype was about and if any of it was in fact warranted.

The first observation was the kid carries a very small frame. This is old news, though, as Trickett announced two years ago while at Florida State that he had celiac disease and had to dramatically change his diet.

The second observation was more than likely that Trickett had the same opportunities as the other two contenders in Paul Millard and Ford Childress and he seemed like a veteran running the few drills that happened under the media's watchful eye.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen agreed with the veteran part.

"He's good. He's seasoned. He doesn't get nervous. You can tell he's got some game experience," Holgorsen said after Day 1 of football camp.

Trickett has quite an opportunity here. While both he and Holgorsen will make a point to tell you that he has not been promised a starting role, he also comes into a position battle that had no clear frontrunner and therefore needed an injection of experience and confidence, which Trickett is thought to bring.

After serving as a back-up behind now-Buffalo Bills quarterback E.J. Manuel with the Seminoles, Trickett is eager to have his own time in the spotlight rather than waiting on injuries to give him some playing time.

But it takes time to learn a new system, even one that he has been working at in 7-on-7s all summer long.

"He's right now got the look when he's looking at me on the sidelines and I'm signaling, he just kind of stares right through me, because it's not automatic to him right now, which is to be expected," said Holgorsen.

Those aren't the aspects of Trickett's game that will be judged so early in camp, though, and the parts that are being scrutinized have gone quite well for the junior.

"He threw the ball well, and for a guy who it was his very first practice here, I thought he did well," said Holgorsen. "And again, I'm not judging the specific throws or checks or any of that. I'm just watching them operate. I'm watching them getting the signals and communicating it to the offensive line, and executing the play to where it resembles football, and I thought he did all right there."

Holgorsen was asked in his press conference if transfers and other players new to the program can become leaders in this camp and he acknowledged that the coaches discussed just that in a team meeting before opening practice. That is precisely what he and the rest of the Mountaineers will need out of Trickett if he can become the guy at quarterback and move this team forward.

Holgorsen already sees that ability in his newest passer.

"His presence," Holgorsen said when asked how Trickett's experience would translate to WVU. "You throw a guy in there who is taking snaps in our offense for the first time, and if there is hesitation and panic, nervousness, lack of communication and all that stuff, then we've got a little bit of an issue. I knew he would handle that well. That's not something I'm concerned with, with him. Just by the calmness that he possesses. Ford and Paul possess that calmness right now, too. Because they understand what's going on around them. I think Clint can get in the mix to be the guy, because he has that in his personality."

It is only the first day of camp, there is plenty of football to be played, but the report on Trickett from his debut is quite positive and makes it clear that the staff believes they made a good move in luring him back to the state of West Virginia where he grew up. 

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