Bell rung times 2
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Clint Trickett is not a candidate to be the poster boy in one of those campaigns about doing the right thing in regard to concussions.
An example perhaps of what can happen when one ignores the signs? Well, he might have been closer to being that.
Trickett, West Virginia's junior quarterback, missed the Mountaineers' most recent game against Kansas when doctors would not clear him to play. He'd suffered a concussion a week earlier in a game against Texas and hadn't passed all the tests required to return to action.
And there was a reason he hadn't passed them. Turns out, his bell-ringing incident against Texas wasn't his first time.
"It was the second one in three weeks,'' Trickett revealed Tuesday. "I had one at Kansas State that I didn't tell anyone about.''
"Yeah, I played through it,'' Trickett said. "I obviously would have tried to play through the one at Texas if I wasn't completely unconscious.''
Indeed, the concussion that Trickett suffered Nov. 9 against Texas was not one where he could hide any symptoms. In the first quarter of what turned out to be a 47-40 overtime loss, Trickett was knocked unconscious. He stayed that way momentarily while medical personnel attended to him on the field. There was no way he would be cleared to return that night.
The hit he took at Kansas State, though, apparently did not knock him out, so he was able to fool everyone into thinking nothing had happened and returned to that Oct. 26 game. He would also play a full four quarters the following week at TCU.
In retrospect, Trickett admits that probably wasn't the smartest thing to do. He knows the emphasis being put on concussion prevention and treatment at all levels of football.
Still, he has also always been one to tough things out. He did so with a shoulder injury he suffered during his first start this season against Oklahoma State, playing the rest of that game and most of the one a week later against Baylor before getting a week off to heal.
"The ones you can't fight through are the toughest,'' Trickett said. "You can fight through the pain of a shoulder. It's not like that with a concussion.''
Knowing that, he understands the refusal of West Virginia's medical staff to clear him for the game at Kansas.
"With all the information we're getting on concussions now it was probably the smart thing to do, having two in such a short time,'' Trickett said. "With all the stuff coming out about [concussions], it's scary, but you can't really think about that. You've still got to be a tough guy.''
Now, with West Virginia having gone through another off week, Trickett has been cleared once again to play. Whether he will or not when the Mountaineers (4-7, 2-6 Big 12) host Iowa State (2-9, 1-7) Saturday at Mountaineer Field remains to be seen. Coach Dana Holgorsen isn't saying.
He did, however, say that this week's starting quarterback won't be redshirt freshman Ford Childress. Childress hasn't played since the fourth game of the season because of a torn pectoral muscle. And while Childress has been cleared to play, Holgorsen said Tuesday that he wouldn't.
"It won't be Ford. He's just not ready,'' Holgorsen said when asked about his starter this week. "He could go in and piece it together if we needed him to, but we're just going to let him sit there and use him as we need to. We're repping the other two right now.''
That would be Trickett and junior Paul Millard, who started the Kansas game in Trickett's absence.
"They're not a whole lot different now than they were two weeks ago now that Clint is cleared,'' Holgorsen said. "Maybe we'll just rotate them every other play. We haven't tried that yet.''
He was, by the way, presumably joking.
"They've both done good. They're trying hard and practicing well. They're competing,'' Holgorsen said of the two. "They want to get better. I feel like we can win with either one. I really do. Clint's proven. He's won a couple of Big 12 games [Oklahoma State and TCU]. Paul's proven he can run the offense effectively if he stays within the scheme and what we're asking him to do. I feel like we can win with him as well."
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.