Setting the record straight with Grier

Never has the phrase 'It's a long story', been more true than with Tim Grier. Grier was a standout football player at Hiram, but made a change for personal reasons to Westlake. Personal reasons is a bit of an understatement. Grier took all of the challenges head on. It has made Grier the man he is today.

If you are looking for Tim Grier as part of last year's Westlake (Ga.) team, then forget about it. He wasn't there. He was at Hiram (Ga.). Although only playing in six games, he is still going to be heading to Nebraska this summer.

"Yes sir, I am going to go to Nebraska," Grier said. "I will be running track on scholarship and walking on to play football at Nebraska. At first I was going to just run track, but then they found about football and said I can play that also."

When he says that Nebraska 'found out about football', he means it. If someone doesn't know the story about the transfer then there are no stats for Grier. It was actually a stroke of luck that he will do both, because at one point he was just going to concentrate on one.

"I played football at Hiram and I transferred to Westlake. At one time I was going to focus on just playing football, but then I decided to pursue a track career and get a scholarship in both other than just play football."

The coach at Hiram was let go or fired after last season, but really was suspended from the sixth game to the conclusion of the season. The facts are still a bit unclear because you could call it resigned or call it getting fired.

"They said that it was a disciplinary reason and that he was just going to get a short-term suspension, but ended up resigning basically. Well, he was suspended for the rest of the year and really ended up getting fired."

That may have been part of the reason why Grier didn't play the last four games of the season at Hiram. Grier mentioned that there were coaches that didn't get a long and a coach that he didn't see eye to eye with that had a major role in him not getting on the field.

"I didn't play the last four games at the school. I was on the team, but I just didn't play. There was a lot of disputing between the other coaches. I didn't get a long with the running back coach and he stopped playing me. I didn't play the last four games after starting the first five."

Last year, Grier played running back on offense. He has played cornerback as well on defense, but the year before he played wide receiver instead of running back.

"I was playing cornerback and running back this season, but the year before that I was playing wide receiver. They kept switching me around. I was mainly a cornerback."

Through just five total games, and part of a sixth, Grier put up some very respectable numbers from his running back and cornerback positions. "I had 645 yards rushing and six touchdowns through six games. I started five games, but I played in six. I had 43 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back."

But why did Grier only play in six games and why did Grier transfer to Westlake from Hiram? These are questions that all should have and reasonably so. It starts with dissention.

"The reason why I ended up transferring to Westlake was because my mom had cancer this year. Our coach, told me to go to the hospital and go and stay with my mom during an off week."

"Then I came back and he didn't tell any of the other coaches about why I was gone. They didn't start me that game and I only played when someone got hurt at the end of the game."

Grier's mom was in the hospital with stomach cancer and he was having his fair share of stress on all sides in his life. "This whole thing was causing my mom stress and I decided after football that I was going to stick out the rest of the year at Hiram even with the ups and downs. You have to go through the ups and downs, they are part of life."

"I told the coaches (at Hiram) that I wasn't going to run track when they came to talk to me at football practice in November. After that, school became miserable. I started getting wrote up for little things. They would write me up for gum in class and call my mom and give her more stress."

Grier was actually put in a situation threatening hard times for him just to go to school and get his education if he decided he wasn't going to run track. "Then they would call me into the office everyday to try and convince me to run track. It wasn't really said, but figuratively speaking that it would be a hard time in school."

Then came a move that Grier needed, his mom signed over custody of her son to her husband's sister. "It was then that my mom switched over my custody to my auntie and that is who I have been living with since December. That is when I enrolled in Westlake because she was in that district."

But it doesn't end there, Grier has read in the media about report about being a questionable student. These reports seem to come from the same people that make Grier staying at Hiram before transferring impossible. He wanted to clear the air about his academic situation.

"There is a story that was saying that I was a bad student in class. Actually, I have a 3.7 and I was in the honors program at Hiram. I was in honors Biology, Chemistry, and AP Earth Science. I took Algebra I as an eighth grader. I mean, you need to see the transcript to see that."

A hard time, that is what Grier continued to get despite wanting to stay at Hiram for the rest of the school year.

"I never got suspended, but they would write me up and then the principal would never do anything about it. I would get written up for gum in class or asking to use the restroom during a lecture. I would get written up for little things."

At Westlake things were going to be different, but not just from a school personnel perspective, but from a perspective that Grier had decided that he wouldn't run track. That is, until he saw what Westlake's track team was really about.

"I was just going to go to Westlake to go to school, but I was got to see their determination on the track and got to talk to my cousin who started to run track for them. I decided that maybe I should run track and give it another chance."

This past year for Grier on the track brought him the success that he needed to have and that he was almost deprived of at Hiram. While he was unable to defend a title that he won as a junior, he won another and did it in memorable fashion.

"I won state and broke the state record in the 300m hurdles. I should have won in three events, but I ended up losing the long jump, which I won last year and had the longest jump this year, by half of an inch. I ended up losing the 110m hurdles by one-hundredth of a second. I ran 14.29 and the winner ran 14.28. I ran the 300m hurdles in 36.64 and second was 38.90. We won the first ever track title at Westlake."

While the speed is eye-popping, you combine that with his 6-foot-1 frame and 190 pounds and you know that you have a serious football prospect. A prospect that Nebraska might not be totally clear on where they want him to play, yet, but they do know that they want him to get to Lincoln soon.

"They want me to play cornerback and definitely some kickoff return and maybe wide receiver. They want me at either cornerback or wide receiver, but they just didn't know. They wanted me to come down for summer practice to actually get in with the team and figure out a position."

"I will be there for the summer, but the coaches wanted me there June 5. I didn't think that I was going to do track this summer, but I will be going to California this summer for the Golden West meet. I will report to Lincoln on July 4 or around there."

While the good news is that Grier was able to attend a school that embraced him the other good news is that Grier's mom responded favorably to treatment for her cancer. She had surgery and went through radiation, chemo and is now cancer free.


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