Florida QB position uncertain, but Gamecocks will be prepared
Will Grier is one of the top quarterbacks in college football, ranking in the top 15 of the nation in passing touchdowns, yards, completion percentage and rating. The West Virginia signal caller has led the Moutaineers to a 7-1 record and No. 9 spot in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
And he was almost a Gamecock.
In a feature story from Bleacher Report, Grier revealed that when he was deciding to transfer from Florida in 2016, where he had been ruled ineligble by the NCAA for using an unapproved performance-enhancing supplement, his first choice of destinations was South Carolina. That’s where the coach who had recruited him to the Gators, Will Muschamp, had recently been hired.
Grier had gone 6-0 as a redshirt freshman starter for the Gators, but according to the Bleacher Report story, coach Jim McElwain made it clear to him he wasn’t wanted back after his suspension. Muschamp, meanwhile, was finishing up his first recruiting class at USC.
Transfer rules within the SEC were still strict at the time, and coaches were known to block players from going to another school in the conference, though technically the league’s by-laws allowed such moves.
In any event, Grier couldn’t go to South Carolina, so he landed at West Virginia, sitting out the 2016 season and coming back with a vengeance, throwing 34 touchdowns in 2017 and putting together his so-far stellar senior campaign. All told, he has a 14-5 record as the Mountaineers’ starter.
Carolina and Muschamp, meanwhile, picked up a commitment from high school junior Jake Bentley a month after Grier chose WVU. A little while after that, Bentley skipped his senior year, graduated early and took over halfway through the 2016 season. He’s been the Gamecocks’ starter ever since, with the exception of one game this year due to injury. South Carolina has a 17-10 record with Bentley as its starter.
The other quarterback in Muschamp’s 2016 class, Brandon McIlwain, played eight games as a true freshman before transferring to California.
Grier is originally from Davidson, North Carolina.