MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Foremost during this, his final college season, Clint Trickett says he wants “to win some games,” and the only way West Virginia is going to win any number of note is with Trickett playing quarterback.

So this week coach Dana Holgorsen sends out an oddly-timed statement naming Trickett as the 2014 starter, and two days later, the senior quarterback with the Robin Thicke hairdo fields questions—some of them, at least—as to how and why the decision came down in late June.

“I think Coach was just happy that when I was in the weight room I was doing what I was doing before,” said Trickett.

The public proclamation denied us the faux-mystery of fall-camp competition, because as West Virginia’s quarterbacking is currently constituted, there is no competition. Paul Millard can come out of the bullpen in a pinch, but he’s not a season-long answer. Junior-college transfer Skyler Howard suffered through a brutal spring. And even if William Crest sets the field afire in August, he needs seasoning—and ideally, a season—to transition from Dunbar to D-I.

Heck, Trickett needed a full season of acclimation despite being a fourth-year junior.

“This offense produces a lot of good quarterbacks,” he said. “I obviously wasn’t one of them last year.”

Neither his 52 percent completion rate or his 7-to-7 touchdown-to-interception output were reminiscent of previous Holgorsen QBs, but Trickett was on the field for both of West Virginia’s Big 12 victories in 2013. One of those was, in retrospect, a hellacious ambush of an Oklahoma State team that came within 19 seconds of winning the league. That also turned out to be the only game in which Trickett was healthy, and even then he was healthy for only about three quarters.

Though he returned from a second-half shoulder sprain to lead a 30-21 victory, Trickett wasn’t right the rest of the season. He learned in December that he’d been playing with a torn labrum.

“Shoot, the one time I was healthy, we pulled off a pretty good one,” he said. “So you wonder what-if, but that’s life, and if you wonder what-if on a lot of things you’re not going to get anywhere.”

While Holgorsen contends Trickett is completely recovered from offseason surgery that shelved him for spring practice, the quarterback remained evasive Thursday night about his current arm strength. He also declined to discuss any details regarding his summer throwing routine.

What about offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson’s take on pegging a starter before Independence Day?

“If you evaluate last year’s tape—which we’ve watched countless times—when he was healthy he played at a high level,” he said.

“We feel like its clear-cut in our minds or we wouldn’t (announce a starter). When you know you’re the guy, and you’ve got the coaching staff clearly behind you, it changes your demeanor and your attitude. It’s only going to help him and help the unit in the long run.”

Trickett had anticipated owning the job ever since the aftermath of the season-ending 52-44 triple-overtime loss to Iowa State. Not even spending the entirety of spring practice in shorts altered that assumption.

“Having the spring off, you would think it hurt, but I got to see the game, this offense, from a different point of view, how the coaches see it,” he said. “And now I know more about what they want on the field.”

Turns out they mainly wanted Trickett on the field.

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  • Big Hooptie

    In 2005 we were set on Adam Bednarik too....

  • TruthTeller

    You people need to stop being racist. Crest is the same size as Trickett so get over yourselves. Trickett will be fine if the O-line
    can stop being wimpy and protect the QB.
    Never judge a man's ability by his size.
    What about Doug Flutie?

  • TruthTeller

    The teams in the SEC rely on solid defense and do not have great quarterbacks. They run the ball about 85 percent of the time. WVU can use the same type of template and have success but also throw a little Big 12 air raid in the mix.
    I predict WVU will go to a bowl this year.

  • george

    Trickett opening against Alabama-----well, uh, uh,well, maybe Alabama will be having a rebuilding year...............

  • Bottom feeder

    Doesn't matter who the QB is. Could be Brady,Wilson, anybody. Unless the "brain-fart"that tried to call the plays last year is fired, we're headed for another disaster.

  • any major dude

    Football is surely a team game, and in that sense, to paraphrase Orwell, all players are created equal. But when it comes to quarterbacks, some players are created more equal than others.

  • Bud Kilmer

    "Now you go fetch me a championship!"

  • Robin

    I don't want a player who says that he wants, "to win SOME games." Seriously? I want someone who wants to win all the games, someone who believes they can win all the games. A statement like that leads me to believe he has already discounted winning all of them and settled for some.

    Not good at all.

  • MGD

    Allan, please tell me what his hairstyle brought to this article? Thanks.

  • CaptainQ

    Well, I'm willing to give Trickett the benefit of the doubt for now, but he wasn't exactly 'setting the world on fire' last season.

    That being said, best of luck, Mountaineer football squad for 2014!

    • Jim

      What do expect from a guy that walked into camp 3 weeks before the season started to do? Take off the blinders people! You all need to become more football savy before spouting off uninformed remarks. CaptainQ, you're not by yourself on this either. Division 1 games involve more than most band wagon fans are capable of grasping.

    • Mitch

      @ CaptainQ,

      Did it ever occur to you that maybe he didn't exactly "have a decent offensive line" last year, and that he "wasn't exactly healthy" most of last year because of that?

  • Tyrone

    I hope all you negative commentators on here have your computers taken away from you ..After your parents kick you out of there basement ...I was taught if you don't have anything nice to say then dont say anything at all

  • BR

    I think it was Mark Twain that said..... "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence then success is sure."

    Gawd, I hope he was right, or we are in for a verrrrrrrrry long 2014 season!!!! My money is on a long season; AGAIN.

    On the bright side maybe Huggs can drudge/duct tape his way through to 18-19 wins and get us an actual HOME game in the NIT.....yeppy!

  • GH

    I usually value your opinion. Not this time though. The "only way WVU can win games is with Trickett " is fantasy. First, he's not durable enough to last very long and he's too slow to stay out of harms way. His passing skills are below average. He's a WVIAC QB. Great kid and I wish him well and hope he makes me look foolish. GH

  • cutty77

    If Clint Trickett is our only option to win,WVU is in Deep Do,Do. I don't believe for one minute he is our only option. I remember a QB by The Name of Pat White that got to play because of another QB that everybody thought was the only way we could win too.

    • Mitch

      @ cutty77,

      There wasn't one person on the entire planet who thought that Bednarik was "the only way we could win". You just completely pulled that fairy tale out of your a**.

  • 1olewvufan

    Yes, Trickett is he only choice for this season. Most teams have only one obvious choice. When Geno was at WVU he was the obvious choice.

    Trickett will do well this season. He has the skills. Last season except for two quarters, he played hurt.

    The QB group as a whole last season had little help from the OL and Receivers. This season, hopefully, we'll see an improved OL and receivers. If the OL and receiving group play better this season, and with a starter named, we all should see an improved offense.