Ben Queen/WVMetroNews

Senior Clint Trickett, named West Virginia’s starting quarterback by Dana Holgorsen in June, delivers a pass during preseason camp.


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It didn’t take a village to make Clint Trickett whole again, just three wise men: Dr. James Andrews, Chris Weinke and Dana Holgorsen. Each had a balancing stake in the mind-body-soul reboot that returned the West Virginia quarterback to the field so that he could be, well, West Virginia’s quarterback.

Andrews, now 41 years and approximately 48,000 surgeries into reassembling athletes, repaired Trickett’s AC joint, labrum and rotator cuff on Jan. 13—injuries that dated back to Sept. 28 and rendered Trickett spaghetti-armed throughout his final six starts.

The rehab, so cautious and maddeningly measured, required weeks before Trickett was allowed to lift even a light weight above his shoulder, much less resume throwing. After sitting out spring practice, he was cleared in May to begin soft-tossing 20 to 25 passes a day.

“It was a long offseason,” Trickett recalled Tuesday. “You’re thinking, ‘Man, am I going to play? Am I going to be normal again?'”

His first month of throwing wasn’t normal or encouraging. The shoulder was functioning but his mechanics were unraveling. So off went Trickett to Bradenton, Fla., to work under Weinke’s watch at the IMG Academy. It only took a few hours for the two ex-Florida State quarterbacks to spot a flaw.

“There was one major thing Chris saw,” Trickett said. “My back foot was so far outside the framework of my body that I had no leg power. It was all shoulder and all arm. And the ball was all over the place.”

With his footwork rectified, Trickett’s arm angle improved. Almost instantly he noticed his passes gaining steam: “There was so much more velocity and zip on the ball and less pressure on my arm.”

WVU’s 2013 preseason quarterback competition “kind of ate me up from the inside,” Trickett admitted. He lost his appetite and found sleeping difficult as he wondered, ‘Well, crap, did I screw it up today?'”

Once back in Morgantown for 7-on-7 sessions, the receivers saw new life on Trickett’s throws and the senior saw himself becoming physically sound. “For me to go out there and actually have positive results was just a huge relief.”

On June 24, Holgorsen provided even more relief—naming Trickett the starter.

In the six weeks since, Trickett has seized Holgorsen’s mandate and blossomed. No longer concerned about winning the job, he has focused on winning over teammates. Coaches can harp on the benefits of camp competition, but in no way does Trickett miss the preseason quarterback duel he endured in 2013.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “I care so much about it that it kind of ate me up from the inside, literally, especially with my celiac disease and everything. It took a toll on me.”

Returning last year to the town where he spent much of his youth, and welcomed by expectations that he immediately would become Air Raid’s next 4,000-yard passer, Trickett tormented himself with worry. He struggled to sleep, lost his appetite and began dropping weight from his already-spindly 175-pound frame.

“You’re just worrying, ‘Well, crap, did I screw it up today?'” he said. “Now, not to have that in the back of your mind is definitely helping me. I’m actually gaining weight.”

While Trickett said he still needs “to shake off” a twinge after deep throws, he no longer relies on the pain medication that he needed to tolerate the second half of last season.

“Now, I’m just playing without anything,” he said. “(The shoulder) feels fine. It’s awesome.”

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  • viper

    tough kid. he did not look good after the injury last year. there is no question there. I really think him being healthy will be the difference in this years team.

  • donutfiend77

    People do not understand what an impact a shoulder injury can make on your mechanics, strength, accuracy, etc. We need more stories like this to inspire and gain momentum going into the big game!

  • Westfair

    Allan, what a great uplifting story for about Triggett, WV Football, and the ordeal they went through last year!

    • uncle phil

      I know this is the time of year where we have to generate excitement, but really? The truth is that uplifting stories don't mean jack fella. What matters is winning. What matters is to stop being a national embarrassment on defense. What matters is an offensive line that looks better than a NAIA team.

      • Stephenw304

        hey phil ... don't base everything on stats! the 2013 WVU defense was greatly improved over 2012.

        2013 defense outplayed Texas. Held the Longhorns to 3 fgs after the offense turned the ball over 3 times once inside the WV 30 and twice inside the WV 10 .... saving at least 8 pts

        WVU gave up 1 td to OU after a muffed punt gave the Sooners the ball back in scoring position the defense had held the score was 9-7 and WVU was had momentum

        Maryland ... after 3 1st half turnovers the score was only 12-0 MD. the WV defense finally broke after 3 more TO's in the 2nd half. 6 TO's is a joke

        the defense last year played well enough to win 7 games but QB play lost 7 and i don
        t think you can say the offense beat William and Mary

        WVU will surprise people again

        7-5 and the Champs Bowl

        • Rob

          Wvu will lose six games for sure, Bama, Texas tech, Ok. St, Tx, Baylor & Oklahoma. That leaves Md. & ISU on the road and wvu will not win both of those contest. 7-5 is wishful thinking. 4-8. Learn to live with it.

        • uncle phil

          Sorry, but i don't care much for moral victories. A loss is a loss. You're putting lipstick on a pig.

      • Bagelknot

        Phil- good job of keeping it positive. I bet you're a fun guy to hang with.

        • uncle phil



  • william


  • William

    I love Holgy!!

    • Matt

      Dana is a good coach, no one out there could have done any better. It makes me laugh so when people blame him for us loosing. They do not seem to remember our last couple of years in the Big East. We were a good team VS. Big East talent. Look at Bill Stewart's recruiting, laughable. We tied for the championship our last year and Dana handed a defenseless Clemson a beating.Then we move that same average team to one of the best conferences in football and people expect us to dominate? Silly, who thought the team that got beat by Louisville, rolled by Cuse (49-23) and barely scraped by Cincy, pitt, and South Florida (all by 3 points or less) would jump in the 12 and beat Oklahoma, Texas, Ok State, K State, and TCU,? Come on.I get delusional too sometimes but anyone who did not figure for at least a three year rebuilding phase is a complete loon! If you want to blame someone for our struggles you should look no further then Ollie. But he really didn't have a choice did he? The only decision I disagree with was raising the ticket price to a point where a lot of the fan base was alienated. I guess a millionaire would have a hard time understanding what a reasonable ticket price would be though.

      • Stephenw304

        Im not for raising stadiu ticket prices but i live in raleigh,nc. WVU prices are right in line with NC st, UNC, and Clemson and the Stadiums and demographics arent too different. WVU, NC, & Clemson, are similar blue collar fans. C & Duke fans are a-holes

  • Matt

    So I see a lot of positivity here, wonderful! Trickett will be more then adequate this year. He has a solid arm, good leadership skills, football knowledge and it looks like he will have a great supporting cast in the backfield. If the line can get itself together were looking at 8 wins or more! cant wait to see those young defenders step up and crack some heads! Lts goooooooo mountaineers!

  • Mister Man

    I think Clint will do well. He's healthy. He has a firm grasp of the system. The offensive line will be better.

    • rock solid

      @mister man: Wow, what insight. With such in depth analysis we can all rest easy that this is the year we can excel in the Big Twelve. You failed to mention that the competition has also improved for the majority of the schools we play. We can be a lot better than last year and still not gain an inch in the conference. Hoping our improvement is superior to our competion or we may find your wisdom wasted. Of course we can always rely on you for spell check.

      • Billly

        How are the other teams improved expert? TCU losing a all American? Texas going into season with unproven talent all over roster? Txtech with one QB on roster? Oklahoma St losing 22 seniors...K St losing one of its top QB talent..please tell us all the improvements by other teams you insider.

        • rock solid

          We had a losing record Billly. I believe all the schools get to recruit, not just WVU. Freshmen who beat us are now sophmores, sophs are now juniors etc.. Don't care about attrition. Stuff happens every year. If you have to name who is lost on other teams to think we have a chance to win you are in denial that our talent is good enough to win without misfortune by our opponents. WVU has learned how to lose the last several years, let us hope we can relearn how to win this year. I believe all teams still get to put eleven players on the field even if some of their players from last year plus recruits are lost for whatever reason. Stop being so touchy! You are going to give yourself a heart attack.Of course WVa is one of the most obese states in the nation, per population sample, heard that in a national poll result. I think we were still better than Mississippi, so we should be proud. So don't forget to eat your veggies and stay away from heroin.

        • WVUness

          Eh. To think the big12 is hard to win is laughable. When WVU joined along with TCU it was @ its strongest. No Champ game with lots of bottom feeders. If we cant win , we should have a winning record.

  • Troll

    Well considering the title talks about three wise men we can be sure it's not about william , jay zoom or uncle phil.

    Good article, seems like Trickett has put the time in physically and mentally to lead this team to a good season.

  • dtch

    May Trickett enjoy a successful season of the ladies wanting him and men admiring him.

  • RedRaider

    How did this little shrimp get to be a big12 QB?

  • Shadow

    The young man should be given credit for sticking in there by listening to the Dr and working to improve his skill. I am sure last season was no fun with a hurting shoulder but he went onto the field. Give him a chance before you start condemning him. There are ten others on the field and all must do their best to win.

  • roger markos

    We will beat the crab of Alabama who is Alabama my ars

  • roger markos

    WVU will win it all

  • roger

    WVU going to win all of their games. Mark my word and don't act surprise when they win it all. These are kids playing and not the media. In Tom Bradley I trust.
    Lets go Mountaineers
    Love WVA

  • roger

    WVU going to win all of their games. Mark my word in Tom Bradly I trust
    Lets gooo Mountaineer

    • rock solid

      Anyone posting named roger must be overdosing on stupid pills. He has become delusional.