WVU football: FSU transfer Trickett picks the Mountaineers
Clint Trickett is headed back to Morgantown, this time as a West Virginia University quarterback.
Trickett, a redshirt junior who spent the last two seasons as a Florida State backup, announced the move Wednesday morning on his Twitter account.
"This whole process was really trying to find the best fit for me," Trickett said Wednesday afternoon. "I was trying to find the best fit for me where I would be getting the chance to play, but also the chance to win. I wanted to go somewhere we could win. All signs pointed to West Virginia, and that just happened to be home."
Trickett spent seven years in West Virginia while his father, current FSU offensive line coach Rick Trickett, served in the same role at WVU. The younger Trickett also visited South Florida and Auburn before deciding on the Mountaineers.
"WVU football welcomes Clint Trickett home," WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen said in a news release. "He basically grew up in Morgantown, and I know he feels very comfortable here. He's an excellent student and grew up around the game of football, which shows in his composure on the field. I am excited that he has decided to finish his career as a Mountaineer."
Trickett will have two seasons of eligibility remaining and will be able to play immediately as a graduate transfer. He earned his bachelor's degree in social science this spring. FSU announced he was leaving its program on April 17, a few days after the Seminoles' spring game, where it became apparent Jameis Winston had emerged as the front-runner for the starting quarterback job.
Trickett will enter a WVU quarterback competition with redshirt freshman Ford Childress and junior Paul Millard, as all three try to replace the school's all-time leading passer Geno Smith, who taken in the second round in last week's NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
In the Mountaineers' spring game, Millard completed 16 of 27 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns, while Childress went 14 of 21 for 169 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Trickett said Holgorsen told him there would be a true competition for the No. 1 job.
"He didn't guarantee me a starting job, which is good," Trickett said. "I wasn't looking for one. I was looking just for a chance to compete, and that's what he gave me. Ford and Paul are both great quarterbacks. It'll be a friendly competition, but a competition, nonetheless."
Trickett has an edge -- major college starting experience.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Trickett was well respected as a quarterback out of North Florida Christian School, throwing for more than 5,300 yards and 59 touchdowns in three seasons. A three-star prospect according to both Rivals and Scout, he signed with FSU and settled into a reserve role behind E.J. Manuel, who was taken with the 16th overall pick last week by the Buffalo Bills.
Yet Trickett was drafted into significant action as a redshirt freshman in 2010, stepping in for Manuel in the third quarter against top-ranked Oklahoma after Manuel injured his shoulder. He completed seven of 15 passes for 134 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Sooners. He started the next week against Clemson, winning ACC rookie of the week honors by throwing for 336 yards, three touchdowns and an interception against the Tigers.
He started again for Manuel the week after that against Wake Forest, but completed just six of 11 passes for 29 yards and two interceptions before Manuel took back the reigns of the offense late in the first half.
"I know I've done it," Trickett said. "I've sometimes done well and struggled once. I know I can get it done. Now I just have to go out there and do it."
Trickett ended his FSU career appearing in 17 games, completing 66 of 106 passes for 947 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. Now he's walking into a situation that fits him as a football player -- "It's one of the hottest offenses out there and one of the best offenses out there," he said -- and also is familiar territory. He still has family and friends in and around Morgantown, which will ease the transition.
"It's obviously easier knowing I have friends up there," Trickett said. "But it's the fact that it was the best fit without all that. That just makes it even better." Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.