MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s quarterback competition became a three-man race Wednesday when transfer Clint Trickett announced he’ll be joining the Mountaineers later this month.

The former Florida State quarterback will join junior Paul Millard and redshirt freshman Ford Childress in the race to replace Geno Smith as West Virginia’s starting quarterback next season. For fans who suspected WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson were being coy about not naming a starter until fall, Trickett’s addition validates the race remains wide open.

Trickett also considered transferring to Auburn, where five quarterbacks are scrambling to impress new head coach Gus Malzahn, and South Florida, which seemingly offered the easiest path to playing time, albeit in the soon-to-be-obscure Big East.

In an interview with, Trickett lauded Holgerson for being “a straight-up guy … (who) thinks I could come in there and compete, and that’s all I’m asking for. By no means is this a guaranteed starting job and I have to go in there in compete.”

A redshirt junior, Trickett is scheduled to graduate this spring, making him eligible to play immediately at another FBS program. He announced via Twitter his intentions of returning to Morgantown, where he lived until ninth grade when his father Rick was WVU’s offensive line coach.

Trickett played in 16 games at FSU the past two seasons and started two games.

Trickett will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

After he quarterbacked the Morgantown High freshman team, Trickett moved to Tallahassee when his father became the offensive line coach at Florida State in January 2007. Clint subsequently played his final three years of high school football at North Florida Christian, not far from the FSU campus.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Trickett completed 22-of-34 passes for 272 yards last year while backing up EJ Manuel, who became the 16th overall pick in last weekend’s NFL draft. In 2011 Trickett briefly surpassed the banged-up Manuel and made two starts in back-to-back 35-30 losses at Clemson and Wake Forest. He threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns on 24-of-38 passing against Clemson.

He finished the 2011 season completing 44-of-72 passes for 675 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

After entering FSU spring practice at No. 1 on the depth chart, Trickett apparently fell behind redshirt freshman Jameis Winston, a five-star prospect who was among the nation’s top-rated quarterbacks in the 2012 signing class.

Trickett was on hand for WVU’s Gold-Blue spring game and watched film with coaches during his visit. He told that WVU “felt like it was the perfect situation for me because the offense fits what I do. I think that’s why they were so attractive to me because I fit everything with their passing game and what they are trying to accomplish.”

Trickett is a wiry athlete who had trouble adding weight in high school. But in 2011 he learned he suffered from celiac disease, a gluten intolerance that can lead to malnutrition, weight loss and other intestinal symptoms.

UPDATE: Holgorsen releases statement

“WVU football welcomes Clint Trickett home. He basically grew up in Morgantown, and I know he feels very comfortable here,” Holgorsen said Wednesday afternoon in a release noting Trickett would be placed on scholarship for the 2013-14 academic year. “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.”

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  • JB in Morgantown

    Welcome "home" Clint Trickett. Could you get your Dad to come back too? He is one heck of an o-line coach. Good luck in camp. This is a win all around. Clint gets a chance to compete to be a starter, and it will elevate the competition at the QB position. Go Mountaineers!

  • Protechcpa

    This is great news. Now we have a quarterback and hopefully this will give us a shot at a better than .500 season. Millard has not even been a good backup. Third string is about right for him. Childress may be the future, maybe not, but he is certainly not ready now. I think this saves us some embarrassment this year. Finally, some really good news.

  • Maxxajay

    From what I have seen in the spring game compared to what Clint has done at Florida State I would choose Clint at this point. He can drop back set up and throw a lot faster than what I seem in the spring game. True Fact....

  • cutty77

    Go to the FSU message Boards and see how upset they are to see him go. But they did say Clint played well in Spring Games. LOL They are not to happy with Rick his Dad either. They want him to go too. But what do Fans Know.

    • Hop'sHip

      I finally found something you have to say that I can agree with. Your last statement. "But what do Fans Know?"

  • Helen5844

    This says we now have three QBs competing. If Childress or Millard prove they are better than Trickett then they will play. Competition never hurt anyone Most men thrive on it. May the best QB in the Big 12 win the competition. LETS GOOOOOO MOUNTAINEERS

  • Ernie

    Welcome back Clint! The competition can only help all 3 QB's. Hopefully, at least one of the three will be good enough to win with.

  • Keefe

    He is a Skinny Kid but we had a skinny QB at WVU before. I thought he was a good QB he later played pro for the Rams.

  • Jim

    "Can't we all just get along?"

    • cutty77

      The Old Rodney King Line. Well Said.

  • migalootz

    If you check the record books Dana Holgerson has posted a 4,000 yard passer in 11 consecutive years. i doubt he is looking to break that streak with this new addition. welcome home mr trickett.

    • cutty77

      Let me get this Straight,we have 2 QBs' One with 3 yrs in the program,the 2nd one with 2 yrs in the program.Then Clint comes in with a Fall Camp only,and might start. We are in Major Trouble then.Because he is not the answer.I guess nobody watched his games at Fla. State. It was very Embrassing to watch him try to QB. I'm sticking with Ford Childress before its all said and done. One thing we have to run the ball,if we don't John Elway wont help us.

      • chad

        If ford was any good he would have secured the job by now, and Dana wouldn't be brining in Trickett.

  • Charleston,WV

    This will be good for the competition of our starting quarterback! Clint will have to add some mass to his frame though, which shouldn't be a difficult task for our S&C staff. May the best man win and good luck to all!

  • big tom

    welcome aboard, this can only help the competition for the starting job... let's hope childress wins out but this can only help
    but for god sake, leave the old man in florida, he screwed wvu when he left, we have a very capable off. line coach who will do a great job.

  • WVU07

    Hey Allan, please do us all a favor and remove cutty77 and william from posting. They are negative and are obviously not West Virginia supporters.

    • JoeJoe

      When did the criteria for posting on here require one to be either 1. a WVU grad, or 2. A WVU supporter??
      WVU07 why don't you go back to your Obama-loving progressive socialist neo-lib facist hole you live in.

    • cutty77

      Go tell your Mommy I'm saying mean things about your freinds. LOL Believe me Allan Blocks me more than you guys understand. Thats when i know I'm right most Times. WVRC Fair and Balanced. This is The Country of Free Speech.

      • Hop'sHip

        cutty77: Remember, i before e except after c.

      • Charleston,WV

        "Thats when i know I'm right most Times"_ Cutty77

        Or that's when Allan notices some outlandish, cynical, negative comment that just doesn't need to be posted. ;)

      • rtdeco

        allan...keep on blocking....its a good start.

    • rtdeco

      plus 1 on this comment. this clown is nothing but a troll who hijacks a story.

  • Chris

    i think coach crook will be the best OL coach we've had in a while.

  • Low Rider

    Jake Kelchner & Jeff Hostetler. Two pretty good quarterbacks who transferred into WVU. Give him a chance before you start taking shots at him and the coaching staff.

    • George

      Jeff Hostitler, is in my opinion one of the Best QBs WVU ever had. He left Pitt because he was back-up to Todd Blackledge, and while both played in the NFL, Jeff was a much better QB, and he led the NY Giants to a Super Bowl and won it.

      I'll never forget the Pitt game where Jeff was taking a beating and the announcer said, Hostitler was like a Timex watch. He took a beating and kept on ticking." He got beat up pretty bad when he was QB for the Oakland Raiders.

      Ole "Ollie" wasn't a bad QB and probably won near as many games for the Houston Oilers as Warren Moon did during the time "Ollie" was with the Oilers.

      • grey4449

        Jeff Hostitler went to Penn. St. I believe his brother also played there.

      • JoeJoe

        Hoss left Penn State, not Pitt. And his name is Hostetler.

        • tw eagle

          and he wasn't a backup qb - jopa was going to use him as a linebacker . . .
          How does WVU football evolve if Jeff Hostetler stays at p st ?

    • cutty77

      You guys put Trickett in The same sentence with Kelchner,and Hostetler.Man Talk about drinking some Koolaid. We will see who is right on this. I'm sure Dana has some method to this madness,and Madeness it is.As for looking up Ford Childress on Rivals.Lets Look up Clint Trickett on Rivals.

      • Big Rick

        Cutty go lick bag you queermo. If Big Rick wanted your opinion he would scrape off your boyfriends pocket rocket. Thanks.

        ~Big Rick

      • Blue Flame

        What is wrong with you cutty! I've seen this kid play being near the ACC, he is good, very good. This will be a big boost to the offense. GO! EERS!!!!

      • chad

        I'm not putting him in anybody's category, but if he is better than what we got, then put him in the game. If Holgy thought either Childress or Millard could win the competition outright I would think he would tell Trickett to look elsewhere. He obviously thinks this guy may be better

      • rtdeco

        please go're adding nothing to what could be a worthwhile discussion on the qb take your "madeness" elsewhere..troll boy.

  • George

    I have been hoping that Clint Trickett would choose WVU. I wish him the BEST!!!

    Yes, his dad was one of the Best Offensive Line Coaches WVU ever had, but WVU has a pretty good offensive line coach in Crook.

    Who will win the QB battle, I suspect it will be Trickett, and should he win it, then this doesn't set well for Mallard or Ford.

    According to Rivals, Childress Ford had a lot of schools interested in him, most of the interest was either medium or low and he only received 3 scholarship offers: WVU, Arizona and Arizona State. Look-up Childress Ford on Rivals, for that is what I did.

    GO Eers!!!