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Clint Trickett: Is He USF Football's First Must-Get Recruit?

You rarely have to get a specific player in the world of college football recruiting. But USF may have one on their hands in quarterback Clint Trickett.

Streeter Lecka

Usually in football recruiting, you don't absolutely need any one player. There's always someone else you can turn to if a prospect chooses another school, and usually enough time to find them. And unless you're talking about the very best of the best, no one is going to step right on the field and make a huge difference in their first year on campus.

Clint Trickett is a completely different story, though. In fact, the soon-to-be-transfer from FSU might be the first player in school history that the Bulls simply have to get. It's the first situation I can remember where USF has had such a clear, immediate need to fill, and there's only one player available who can fill it.

If you could combine Matt Floyd and Bobby Eveld together, you'd probably have a decent enough quarterback. I really think Floyd is a better player than Eveld, even with less experience, but we'll never see that bear out on the field if he can't handle the center snaps cleanly. It was a huge problem against Cincinnati last year, and it resurfaced in the spring game. Meanwhile, Eveld has only seen roughly three games' worth of action, and only one of those games was even mildly encouraging. He hasn't been very dynamic as a passer, and his interception risk is almost as big as Floyd's fumble risk. Neither one of them is ready to start and succeed.

Which is unfortunate, because USF has to start winning football games again as soon as possible. They don't have time as a program or as an athletic department to sit around and wait three or four years for the football team to regain respectability. They already frittered away their name recognition and (I hate this term, but it fits) street cred by being bad at football and completely forgetting how to promote themselves to the media. What good is a 9-3 or 10-2 season going to do if it doesn't come until, like, 2016? By then USF could get passed over once and for all by the big boys, and they'd be stuck in the middling American forever.

If the Bulls can land Trickett, he would almost certainly start in both of his seasons here. He's smart enough to pick up on the USF offense fairly quickly, a system that doesn't ask him to do things he's not physically capable of doing. He would give Floyd and Mike White some more time to develop, and Willie Taggart time to restock the program with more talent. And when Louisville and Rutgers move out of the American after next year and the league is suddenly up for grabs in 2014, Trickett would be a senior and a returning starter who gives the Bulls a chance to win it.

The common thread running through almost all of USF football's biggest wins through the years was that they came through in crunch time. If there was ever a time to start delivering like that again, this might be it.