MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Clint Trickett wanted to sign with West Virginia in 2010, only back then WVU didn’t want Clint Trickett.

Then he planned to transfer to WVU last December, but a failed class delayed his Florida State graduation until spring.

Now, at last, he’s here, in the place he felt destined to be all along.

The kid who moved from Morgantown as a high school freshman seven years ago—but never really left it—returns as a 22-year-old college junior. On Tuesday morning he strolled into the players’ lounge overlooking Mountaineer Field and became a daydreaming youngster again.

“I always wanted to play here, in this stadium, for these fans,” Trickett said.

But will he play? Can Trickett trump Ford Childress and Paul Millard in a quarterback tri-meet that is the daily talk of fall camp?

At least Trickett senses he’s getting a legit chance at WVU, the kind of opportunity he apparently wasn’t afforded in Tallahassee, where the pro-style offense became the domain of taller, broad-shouldered passers.

“Some people wanted that prototypical quarterback, and I’m not. I’m 6-2, 185 and I’m going to be that,” he said. “Down there maybe my size did hurt, but not up here.”

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

Clint Trickett had offers from Florida State, Florida and Arkansas in 2010, but not WVU—the program he adored most. “They ran a different offense,” he said, “so I understood why.”

Trickett said Dana Holgorsen and offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson don’t worry much about the measurables, “as long as you get it done.”

He seems refreshed, completely in his element, at home. He kept up with Morgantown friends throughout his time away, making at least two trips back each year, so there’s no shortage of loved ones in the area hoping he succeeds. Of course he left his biggest fan back at FSU, where his dad Rick Trickett remains the offensive line coach. But the dynamics of that situation weren’t necessarily advantageous.

“Things were uncomfortable down there with my dad being on staff,” said Trickett, clarifying the problem was “not so much with the players because I was just another one of the guys. They didn’t treat me like a coach’s kid. I was just their quarterback. The players were fine.”

He declined to specify the source of the uneasiness, too diplomatic to lob criticisms from 850 miles away, but there are some fans who continue to chide his father for the Seminoles’ offensive struggles. And there were others who questioned why Clint was offered a scholarship at all—apparently forgetting that Florida and Arkansas also recruited him.

Trickett leaves it at this: “It was really uncomfortable,” he said, “and I had to get out.”

He would have gotten out five months earlier, but his plan to graduate in 2 1/2 years hinged upon taking an 18-hour course load last fall.

“That was rough,” said Trickett, who realized he overcommitted early in the semester. “Yeah, by like Day 2.”

So he finished his social sciences degree in late May and bee-lined it to West Virginia to begin summer workouts a couple days later.

Trickett moved into a townhome with receiver Connor Arlia, and for a few weeks in July the two played host to another high-profile transfer, Charles Sims, who did some couch crashing until finding his own place.

The new quarterback soon counted the new running back among his best friends on the team, and Sims—after spending his entire life in Texas—couldn’t have asked for a more invested Morgantown tour guide. Though the Tricketts lived in Starkville, Miss., when Clint was born and subsequently spent six years in Auburn, none of those places gave him the hometown feel.

Quincy Wilson, who played running back when Trickett’s dad was coaching the Mountaineers’ offensive line, is now the program’s director of player development. A few days ago he started reminiscing about the 10-year-old Clint who used to pop up around the football offices.

“Quincy said, ‘Man, it’s cool to see you out here,’ and it is,” Trickett said. “It’s good to be back.”

The mountains, the “flying WV” on the stadium facade—for Trickett this place re-opens a gym bag full of memories, and over the next two seasons he plans on building some new ones.

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  • eliotz

    Great article Allen. I started reading it on my phone and didn't pay attention who wrote it. Got to the second paragraph and knew it had to be you. Got to the end, and it was. Lets go Mountaineers!

  • Thecrow2123

    If WVU starts anyone other than Childress they are selling out to the pecking order/popularity game. He by far is the biggest talent and if they make him sit the bench again this year to play that same tired game I doubt he will be here next year.

    I don't care who someone's parents are, how much money they have or if the kid was recruited or a walk on. If your really playing to win a championship you play the best you have at each position.

  • Dutchman

    That kind of university enthusiasm is a necessity for a winning program. Nice to see it in a QB.

  • ron hebb

    live in ok hope wvu will beat ou

  • Cliff

    William is from Pittsburg

    • Mike

      AHHHHHHHHHH...So that explains everything! I understand his comments now. Welcome to an interesting place Clint. Can't wait to see you in action.

  • Paul

    It is evident that William is a lost soul who never played sports. Get a life little man...

  • cutty77

    I'm glad he is coming Home. That being said he can't start and produce like WVU offense needs him to do.Can He play,yes in spots. Its a Great Story,but storys don't win you any Football Games.It reminds me of JR House,was he a great addition yes he was, But remember he left that year to play Baseball,and WVU went to the Sugar Bowl. I happen to run into JR out in the street before the game,and i asked him what he thought about the game that night. He said to much SEC Speed,well i haven't seen him since. LOL

  • Hop'sHip

    Nice piece of sports reporting, especially coming from someone who was a columnist at the Securities Exchange Commission.

  • wvajoker

    "Dana "You Know" Holgerson will NEVER ALWAYS BE A MOUNTAINEER!"

    May not, but you never know. The one thing that I do know is that William will never be a MOUNTAINEER!!!

  • Mountainman

    Nice and well done piece of work, Allen.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Sounds like a home grown boy kinda hope he becomes a great mountaineer!

  • wvrefugee

    Interesting!!! Only other problem that I remember was that "daddy" wanted to come here with him after leaving like a spoiled child!!! He forgot to mention that!!

  • Pat

    What a great kid. Good head on his shoulders. WV training put on weight...he looks good. Hope everything works out for him. Love to see him win the job.

  • Brian

    We couldn't take him in 2010, because we had to make room for future stars like Barry Brunetti and Jeremy Johnson, and also save 5 schollies for some mysterious, secret walk-on development project or something.

  • Tom

    Clint with succeed because he wants the program to succeed. I can't wait to see him leading Holgs offense.