MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Never underestimate Clint Trickett's desire to be West Virginia's starting quarterback.
It may ultimately win him the job or serve as just an interesting footnote if he ends up as the backup, but he's wanted to lead the Mountaineers from when he was in high school and through his time at Florida State.
"I wanted to come here after the fall (last year), but I failed a class and didn't have enough credits, so I went back in the spring," Trickett said Tuesday, the first time he's been allowed to speak to the media since transferring May 1. "After the spring, I took a couple visits, but I knew I was coming here."
Trickett, a redshirt junior who has two years of eligibility remaining, stacked up a tower of course hours last fall so that he could graduate early, transfer and then participate in spring practice to prepare for the coming season.
"I tried to take 18 hours in season," he said. "That was a rough fall."
Trickett, whose father, Rick, is the offensive line coach at Florida State and held the same position at WVU for seven seasons, waged an unsuccessful battle for the starting spot against redshirt freshman Jameis Winston in the spring. He decided to transfer and considered Auburn and USF, but chose the place he wanted to pick coming out of high school, even when the feeling wasn't mutual.
"I came to camp here. I really tried at it, but it just didn't work," he said. "They ran a different offense. I understand that, but I always wanted to play here in this stadium and for these fans."
Things didn't go so smoothly at Florida State, either. He redshirted in 2010 and played in 17 games and started twice the past two seasons, but he couldn't beat out E.J. Manuel or Winston.
That Trickett finds himself in another quarterback competition with redshirt freshman Ford Childress and junior Paul Millard is perhaps advantageous. Neither Childress nor Millard ever had a chance of unseating Geno Smith at WVU and aren't used to the everyday dynamics of the situation.
"I think anywhere you go you're going to have to compete," Trickett said. "That's part of the game and I know what to expect a little bit, but everything else is new."
That's not necessarily bad for Trickett. For starters, he enjoys his surroundings now. Trickett said he's made two trips to Morgantown every year since the family moved to Florida seven years ago. He also expressed relief at being away from the unique arrangement he could not escape at Florida State.
"Things got uncomfortable down there with my dad being on the staff," said Trickett, who insisted there were no problems with other players. "I don't want to get into that much, but it was really uncomfortable and I had to get out."