By: Ashley Conley
The anticipation West Virginia fans have for upcoming quarterback Will Grier is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Grier isn’t just the ‘next man up’. There’s a certain type of hope that beams from his bright smile, strong arm and semi-proven ability–a championship-caliber hope.
Waiting for football season to start and see Will Grier take the field is worse than watching paint dry
— Will Grier (@GrierforHeisman) March 27, 2017
A CFB off season thought. Its a joke Will Grier is not on any Heisman lists. He’s going to absolutely light it up this year.
— Stanford Steve (@StanfordSteve82) February 15, 2017
There’s a million reasons for WVU fans to be excited. Players like Grier aren’t ‘supposed’ to come to West Virginia; this isn’t a school that’s known for getting highly recruited or top-rated players on the regular.
In 2015, Grier led the Florida Gators to a 6-0 start. Soon after, his football world rapidly fell apart when he received a one-year suspension from the NCAA for PED use. His future in Gainesville was up in the air. He decided to transfer. But where would he go? A powerhouse school? Another highly-decorated program with multiple national titles?
Nope. He chose West Virginia. Non-fans were pretty stunned…
Will Grier is clearly a fan of mullets, burning couches, and high unemployment rates as he’s now transferring from Florida to West Virginia.
— Charlie Burris (@Charlie_Burris) April 6, 2016
…while Mountaineer Nation welcomed Grier and his endless potential with open arms. This is the kind of quarterback talent they’ve been anticipating since Pat White and Geno Smith, who led WVU to a Fiesta Bowl victory (2008) and Orange Bowl victory (2012), respectively.
Happy New Year twitter Fam! I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2017. Oh and it’s the Will Grier era Mountaineers!
— Jeff Ruff (@jeff_ruff) January 1, 2017
As September approaches, the excitement has only grown greater, even though there’s a slight possibility Grier won’t be eligible to play in week one due to the 365-day nature of his suspension. However, West Virginia has made an appeal to the NCAA that will likely be approved.
.@realDonaldTrump now that we have your ear, let’s talk about will grier eligibility
— Smoking Musket (@SmokingMusket) March 25, 2017
WVU spring insight: There’s not ENOUGH hype for Will Grier. The kid is BETTER than advertised.
— Khristofór Lambert (@theDudeofWV) March 28, 2017
Went to spring football practice today… don’t know if I’m overreacting or not but I think Will Grier will throw for 5,000 yards and 45 TDs
— Brian McCracken (@BMcCracken92) March 14, 2017
These fans have every right to be this high on the Grier horse. A 10-win season in 2016 ended in a Russell Athletic Bowl loss and a broken connection between fans and two-year starting QB Skyler Howard. Disappointment is nothing new for this fan base, but being genuinely confident in the QB position months prior to the season starting is relatively fresh.
Since he last saw game action on a collegiate football field, Grier has grown up. He survived the public scrutiny resulting from his mistake, went through the transfer process, got married and became a father. Something tells me that he’s never been more prepared to win than he is right now.
Cover Image: Ashley Conley
Ashley Conley is a senior journalism student at WVU. She aspires to become a writer or reporter in the sports industry upon graduation. You can follow her on Twitter @ashleyconleyyy.