West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was hoping to find a starting quarterback during Saturday’s spring game.
Paul Millard and Ford Childress each had their moments during the game and tried to make a case to be the No. 1 guy. Millard threw touchdown passes of 10, 46 and 24 yards, while Childress connected with Jordan Thompson for a 65-yard scoring strike.
If you’re scoring at home and think you know who the starter will be in August, well, the spring game didn’t make matters any clearer.
But Holgorsen’s best option may have been on the sidelines. On Saturday, former Florida State quarterback Clint Trickett was in Morgantown as he looks for a new program.
Trickett is familiar with WVU and Morgantown as he spent much of his youth in the city while his father, Rick, was the offensive line coach under Rich Rodriguez. He also coached at West Virginia from 1976-79, well before Clint was born.
The Mountaineers might have the inside track for Clint, but there are reports that he’s also interested in South Florida and Michigan. At FSU, Trickett was nothing more than a back up to E.J. Manuel, so there’s little to go on in predicting his future success.
Therefore, is Trickett and WVU a good fit?
He would step right in and have more experience at the position than anyone currently on the roster. Trickett has started some big games and played against Oklahoma while in Tallahassee. He finished his FSU career by completing 66 of 106 passes for 947 yards and seven touchdowns in 17 games. He completed 62.3 percent of his passes.
But the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder is a prototypical drop-back, pocket passer — not a horrible fit, but not necessarily ideal for Holgorsen’s system. He needs a quarterback who can make quick reads and make quick throws.
Trickett’s size could also be an issue. Compared to quarterbacks like Manuel and West Virginia’s Geno Smith, who will both get selected in the upcoming NFL Draft, Trickett looks like a junior high quarterback.
That’s not a knock on his ability, but rather his durability. It’s hard to see how he can take the consistent pounding that comes with starting each week.
If Trickett enrolls soon and gets on campus in May, that would give him plenty of time to start learning the WVU playbook. Holgorsen’s system isn’t simple, but someone with Trickett’s knowledge of the game can learn it over the summer.
He would also get an opportunity to work with some of the Mountaineers’ young receiving corps and build up confidence. If Trickett does decide returning to Morgantown is in his best interest, there’s a good chance that Childress will look to leave.
We’ve seen the mixed results of these types of transfers at Wisconsin. Two years ago we watched Russell Wilson leave North Carolina State and lead the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and Big Ten title. Last year, Wisconsin won the conference championship again but Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien didn’t factor much into it.
Trickett is eligible to play right away because he will graduate this spring and he’ll have two years of eligibility. Wherever he lands, Trickett will factor into the QB situation immediately.