WVU's Trickett: "I Want to Win Some Games" - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU's Trickett: "I Want to Win Some Games"

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Four games went by a year ago as Clint Trickett stood patiently – or perhaps impatiently at times – waiting for his chance to step on the field as the first quarterback to contribute to his new team.

While he understood that he was not guaranteed a starting position when he decided to transfer from Florida State, his inability to win the job out of camp did not sit right with him. A few snaps in the season opener was the only opportunity he had to prove himself until the fifth game of the year, but his play from that point on apparently did enough to ensure that his senior season begins quite differently.

Trickett met with the media last week, just days after head coach Dana Holgorsen named him West Virginia’s starting quarterback for the Aug. 30 opener against Alabama. Despite the fact that the competition part of the process is behind him, the second-year Mountaineer has every intention of fighting for his job.

“I’m a big Tom Brady guy,” Trickett said of the New England quarterback. “ He has the mentality that I don’t want anyone to think they can do the job better than me. I don’t want anyone to think that, so I don’t want to give anyone the chance. That’s my mentality. I don’t want anyone to have a chance to do something better than me. I want to be out there, I want to play, I’m always competing.”

Being out there, as Trickett put it, is exactly what he was unable to do during the spring as every other quarterback on the roster at the time took the snaps. Recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, Trickett himself could not take part in the physical reps and instead was forced to make his strides with mental reps.

Asked when he knew he was ready to get back on the field at the level of health needed to perform his job, Trickett said it wasn’t until the very same day that WVU announced that he would be its starter.

When camp opens in a little more than a month, Trickett has the chance to prove that he is capable of doing the job he has been given. Simply having the title of starter under his name should help both Trickett and his teammates, who had three potential starting quarterbacks this time a year ago.

“It helps a lot of things,” Trickett said of the decision. “It helps the actual execution of plays because you are getting the reps. It helps confidence because you know you’re the guy. All the guys know it. It helps their confidence to know. It is vital and that’s one of the things we didn’t have last year until the fifth game of the year.”

In seven starts, Trickett threw for 1,605 yards on 123-of-233 passing with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He understands that those numbers will not cut it in West Virginia’s third year in the Big 12, but he is not worried about his own stats as much as the wins and losses the Mountaineers pile up along the way.

“If I throw five picks and we still win, I’m happy,” he said. “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.”

In fact, he says, he’s all about West Virginia and he has been ever since he first came to Morgantown in second grade as the son of former Mountaineer offensive line coach Rick Trickett. When he made his decision to transfer last summer, it was a no-brainer to end up back in the town that had shaped his childhood.

“I couldn’t stay away,” Trickett said. “I remember in high school, when I was finally old enough to drive, don’t tell my mom this, but I skipped out of school [in Florida] and drove up to West Virginia that weekend. I couldn’t stay away. I love this place and I love the people here even though sometimes they don’t love me.”

It is on Trickett and the rest of his teammates and coaches to make the fans love them again. Certainly a 4-8 season leaves them wanting more, but it does that and more to the players who actually step out on the field and play the game. In 2013, WVU won only two games over Big 12 opponents and Trickett was the starter in both of them.

“If you looked at the games he played in and he was healthy, he played at a high level,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said of Trickett. “That group right now, in our opinion, needs leadership. They look to him anyway. We feel like it’s clear-cut in our mind or we wouldn’t do it. It’s going to give him confidence. When you know you’re the guy and there’s no question about it, you’ve got the coaching staff fully behind you, it changes your demeanor, it changes your attitude.”

Trickett wants it to be the first step in changing the results, too. There is no time to waste in developing the offensive chemistry necessary to feel prepared heading into the Georgia Dome on Aug. 30 and it starts at the top with him behind center.

With a clean bill of health and a year of experience under his belt, Trickett believes he can show a better side of himself in 2014 and give fans a reason to love the Mountaineers again.

“You can say what you want about me as a player, but you’re going to get a guy who’s going to play his heart out, you’re going to get a guy who will play hurt,” Trickett said. “You can’t call me soft. No matter what, you can say that I suck, but you can’t call me soft.” 

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