- David M. Hale, ESPN Staff Writer
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- On film, Clint Trickett can see a difference.
He's still the skinny kid dwarfed by his offensive linemen, but he no longer disappears into his own jersey.
"That's respectable, I guess," Trickett said.
In the weight room, there's been changes, too.
Last year, Trickett was relegated to working out with the kickers and punters -- hardly respectable company for the No. 2 quarterback. Now, he's spotting linebackers.
And when Trickett cocks his right arm and dispenses a deep ball across the field, there's something more to his throws, a zip that simply wasn't there before.
"I made a throw (in practice) that I couldn't have made last year," he said. "Other side of the field, deep, about a 20-yard out route -- and it was on a rope."
A year ago, Trickett was a scrawny 160 pounds, an inviting target for defensive linemen nearly twice his size.
But midway through the 2011 season, the sophomore quarterback was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which prevents his body from processing foods containing gluten, such as breads and pizza.
A change in diet, however, has translated to a change on the football field, where the suddenly stronger Trickett -- now checking in close to 180 pounds -- can put a bit more oomph into his throws.
"I've always had an arm," Trickett said, "but now I have a little more behind it."
It's not that Trickett couldn't handle the passing game a year ago.
He started his first college game against Clemson after starter EJ Manuel went down the previous week with a shoulder injury. Trickett delivered a strong performance, throwing for 336 yards and three touchdowns.
A week later, however, Trickett was roughed up by Wake Forest, coughing up three turnovers before being replaced by Manuel late in the first half.
The up-and-down season -- along with his up-and-down weight -- put the No. 2 spot on the quarterback depth chart up for grabs this spring, with redshirt freshman Jacob Coker pushing Trickett for the job.
Both quarterbacks responded well, but when it was over, Trickett held onto the role, and he said he's not worried that could change this fall.
That, too, is another change for Trickett.
"I think it's a sign of maturity," Trickett said. "You just have to go out and do what you have to do to get yourself better, and in the end they'll make the right decision. You want to think about it, but you want to keep the mind-set to just go out there and play football."
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