Bob Redman knows all the ins and outs of Florida football, and he believed that quarterback Will Grier was poised for stardom in The Swamp. Coming out of high school as one of the most highly-touted quarterbacks in the class of 2014, Grier took a redshirt during his first year on campus, in part to help alleviate concerns over back spasms. With that out of the way, however, he burst onto the scene in 2015, seizing the starting quarterback job and helping Florida run out to a 6-0 start. That all fell apart, though, after he tested positive for a banned substance (which he said was in a over-the-counter nutritional supplement) and was suspended for a year.
On the field, Redman believes he is an excellent fit for West Virginia's offense.
“He really reads the field well,” Redman said in analyzing his strengths. “He's very accurate, and he's a very good mid-range passer. He moves the ball with an emphasis on those kinds of passes. He can throw the ball downfield, though, and the coaches were encouraging him to do more of that, but he was really good in working the ball down the field and managing the game.”
The numbers bear that out. In six games, Grier completed 106-of-161 passes for 1,204 yards and 10 touchdowns while suffering just three interceptions. He also ran for 154 yards.
“That's an underrated part of his game,” Redman said. “He's first a dropback passer, but he can get out and run it. That should fit in with what West Virginia does with its quarterbacks.”
Of course, the off-the-field concerns are also part of the transfer, and while Redman offered no judgment on the infraction, he did see a positive in the way Grier handled the situation.
“He didn't try to hide anything,” Redman said. “He came out and talked about the suspension and the incident as soon as it happened. He was really emotional when he did that. That has to say something about his character. He's very confident in himself, and I believe he is a good kid.”
Redman noted that Grier was probably good enough to compete at Florida as a true freshman, but that concern over back spasms contributed to a decision to redshirt him for the 2014 season. The Gators had planned to take him on road trips to get him acclimated to travel during that redshirt year, and perhaps even groom him for some later playing time if need be, but the spasms were enough to keep him from making those trips. Once healed, though, he won the starting job after splitting time in a couple of early games with Treon Harris. That set him up for what appeared to be a long career with Florida before the suspension.
Grier will sit out the 2016 season as a transfer (his redshirt sophomore season). West Virginia will work to get his suspension reduced or eliminated entirely, which will affect the number of games he can play in 2017. Currently, the NCAA deems that he will have to sit out six games that year before being eligible to play. His final year of eligibility will come in 2018.