Will Grier lost his appeal for a failed drug test after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, Florida confirmed late Friday night. It was first reported by the Orlando Sentinel.
The NCAA upheld Grier’s 12-month suspension that will hold him out for the first six games of the 2016 season. The Florida quarterback admitted to taking the substance, which has not been named, and said he should’ve cleared it with Florida’s medical staff. He is allowed to practice with the Gators but had not done so since the suspension was announced.
Grier started six games at quarterback this season, completing 65.8 percent (106-161) of his passes for 1,204 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. The redshirt freshman averaged 200.7 yards per game through the air while gaining 179 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. His best game came in Florida’s 38-10 win over then-ranked No. 3 Ole Miss. The sophomore went 24-29 while passing for 271 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. All four touchdown passes came in the first half, giving the Gators a 25-0 lead at halftime in the game that pushed them into the top 15 nationally.
With Grier out, the Gators have leaned on Treon Harris at the quarterback position. Harris has started eight games while completing 55.6 percent (75-135) of his passes for 1,109 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. Harris has gained 252 yards on the ground. The sophomore’s best game came in his first start after the Grier suspension as Florida lost by seven points at LSU. Harris went 17-32 for 271 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while gaining 55 yards on the ground. Josh Grady, a post-graduate transfer from Vanderbilt, is currently serving as Florida’s backup quarterback.
In the offseason, the Gators could have new entrants to battle for the quarterback job. Luke Del Rio is currently sitting out this season after transferring from Oregon State. The Gators currently have Kyle Trask committed in the 2016 recruiting class and are looking to add a second quarterback.