Pressure in Quarterback Competition Ramps up for West Virginia Mountaineers

By Tyler Brett
Charles LeClaire – USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith was one of the better quarterbacks in the history of the West Virginia Mountaineers football program, so it will be no small feat replacing him. All spring long, Ford Childress and Paul Millard have battled back and forth, but neither has found a way to pull away and make a lasting impression on head coach Dana Holgorsen. So why is the pressure on for them to make a splash in this weekend’s spring game? Because a new contender for starting quarterback will be on the sidelines watching.

Following the breakout spring performance of Jameis Winston, Clint Trickett announced his intention to transfer from the Florida State Seminoles. Trickett served as the backup to EJ Manuel over the last two seasons, starting in a number of cases where Manuel was injured. He showed excellent flashes of ability when he got the opportunity, but Winston has the once-in-a-generation type of potential that couldn’t be contained on the sideline for another season. Trickett, a redshirt junior, will graduate from FSU this summer, which will make him eligible to play for his new team next fall.

And his first stop will come this weekend with West Virginia. According to reports, Trickett will be in Morgantown to see what the Mountaineers program has to offer and talking with the coaching staff to gauge what kind of future he would have in the Big 12. He will likely have a number of programs interested in his services over the next two years, so it stands to reason that he will lean towards a school that will give him a competitive opportunity to play in 2013.

Childress and Millard have not been anything special this spring, failing to seize control of the job and make it their own. That could have Holgorsen looking outside the program for help and getting an experienced signal caller like Trickett might just be too tempting to pass up. If the coach doesn’t see something to get excited about what he has on the roster in Childress and Millard, Trickett could give the Mountaineers an experienced quarterback that could help ease the transition from the post-Geno Smith era.

So look for the quarterbacks already enrolled at WVU to put on their very best performance this weekend. If they don’t, they could get passed over by a guy making his first visit to campus. Who will the Mountaineers trust their quarterback job to in 2013? The guys they already have or the transfer coming to visit?

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