FSU QB Clint Trickett Inching Ahead

Sep 24, 2011; Clemson, SC, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Clint Trickett (9) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

According to Coley Harvey, Clint Trickett is slightly ahead of the pack, as he should.

Trickett is quite clearly the early leader to win FSU’s quarterback competition.

But shouldn’t he be? After all, he’s the four-year player. He’s the one who has been in Fisher’s system the longest. He’s the one who has actually started games, albeit two, for the Seminoles.

From his reads to his check-downs to his questions to Fisher at the line of scrimmage to his decision-making, accuracy and ability to run the option and zone read, Trickett has looked like the experienced veteran.

None of that is to take anything away from what the other three quarterbacks showed in the two days reporters had a chance to see them all go live. The athleticism, size (in two cases), arm strength and raw, malleable tools and potential you’ve been hearing about is most definitely there for each of them. Jameis Winston will be a confident quarterback. He will be a starter. He will be every bit of the dual-threat signal-calling weapon that he was recruited to be … in time.

Jacob Coker, likewise, will be a starter. He will be the large-bodied, versatile gunslinger that he has been advertised to be … in time.

Sean Maguire also will be a knowledgeable field general who can comfortably take an offense down the field whenever it needs a score … in time.

The only question surrounding those three is “when?” When will that time come for each of them? It’ll arrive once they each know Fisher’s offense as well as Trickett and better understand the nuances of being a starting college quarterback.

Trickett’s time, for now, appears to have come. He seems to have a better sense of who he is as a quarterback. He also seems more comfortable leading both the starting and backup units of offensive linemen and skill players. But again, he’s the experienced one of the group. If any one of the four quarterbacks should be playing that way right now, it better be him.

But the remaining months and days are an indication that this race is indeed a marathon and not a sprint. Each of the other three have plenty of time to see if his respective time arrives. If it does for just one of them, Trickett, the son of newly extended offensive line coach Rick Trickett, may not enjoy starting status after all. Following two seasons as EJ Manuel’s understudy, he may be in for yet another year as a backup.

One thing that is currently certain, though, is that after two days of open practices and two weeks of total workouts, it is evident that Fisher has an enviable decision. The Seminoles have four talented quarterbacks who could start at most other schools. There are coaches who wish they had to pick and choose a starter from this group.

If you haven’t been paying much attention to this quarterback race, your time has come. Buckle up, this should be an interesting five months.

Sometimes, as the world saw with Russell Wilson last year, poise and talent can make up for experience.  That is the exception to the rule, however, and not the norm.  Nothing against Coker, Winston, or Maguire, but Trickett has poise and experience on his side.  Winston, more so than his counterparts, has the raw talent that Jimbo Fisher will mold over the next few years.  Because Trickett has poise and experience, he will win the quarterback battle.  He should also feel somewhat comfortable going on the road to Clemson and Florida.  He’s already started on the road against Clemson before and proved that he’s capable of performing.  Many detract from that performance by noting how bad that Clemson defense is, and I can’t argue that, but he was able to prove he could go into a hostile environment and compete at a high level.

The question is, with Trickett holding the keys to the first team offense, can Trickett continue to improve.  We don’t know what his ceiling is, but many assume it is lower than Winston’s.  The thing is, if Trickett’s ceiling allows us to lose only 1 or 2 games this year, then he’s our guy.

Topics: Clint Trickett, Fsu, Jacob Coker, Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher, Qb Battle, Quarterback, Sping Practice

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  • http://www.facebook.com/bc.cim Brett Cimbora

    Whoever gets the start, as long as they can read a defense and make the throws, the Noles will be fine!! We tend to have a short-term memory…Chris Wienke was not a dual-threat, but he sure could read a defense. Same with Casey Weldon and Brad Johnson. All of those guys utilized the talent around them!!

    • http://twitter.com/Chop9399Chat Chop Chat

      I would expect Trickett to be the best at reading defenses considering this is what, his 4th year in the program? You are absolutely right — our QBs in the 90s were not the biggest, most talented, but they were savvy and could read a defense… hah, no one will ever confuse Brad Johnson for a mobile quarterback.

  • DRob24

    I hope they avoid Trickett running the option and zone read like the plague. Because of his size he does not need to be put in a position where he can take too many big hits. And if he’s really playing the best then I don’t mind him being the starting at all. Whoever gives us the best chance to win.

    • http://twitter.com/Chop9399Chat Chop Chat

      I see Trickett as the precision pocket passer… he’s got a good enough arm to have the offense run on a 3 and 5 step drop type rhythm. If he ran the option or read-option, I might fall over. I think, assuming the offensive line stays healthy, we will see a pretty traditional offense this year.

  • http://twitter.com/Chop9399Chat Chop Chat

    Thanks for commenting guys! What other position battles are excited to see play out?

    • DRob24

      I’m interestsed in the OL. We know that Jackson, Stork, Matias, and Erving will be starting. I want to see whether Bobby Hart or Austin Barron will be the last guy.