Despite what the title may insinuate, give me a moment to explain.
No, this is not a piece meant to trash Will Grier in any way, shape, or form. As a matter of fact, the main purpose here is to give Will Grier all of the praise in the world.
From the time he stepped foot on campus in Morgantown, Will Grier was “the man.” Many fans expected him to be great, and great he was. The Charlotte, North Carolina native finished his two-season career throwing for over 7,000 yards and 71 touchdowns. He was truly like a Madden cheat code come to life on Mountaineer Field.
While he certainly made the 2017 and 2018 seasons enjoyable, he has ruined Mountaineer Nation moving forward. What do I mean by that?
We are now expecting too much from our signal-callers. Not every player who lines up under center for the Mountaineers will be world breakers, or even record breakers. Some quarterbacks are simply meant to be serviceable or game managers. Quarterbacks with the talent of Will Grier are once in a generation, but many do not realize this.
Since the Mountaineers’ 27-13 loss to Oklahoma State, fans on virtually every WVU social media page have heckled the quarterback position. Though Jarret Doege did not have his best game, he did all he could against the Cowboys’ immense pressure. In truth, there is really no reason to come after him.
This is where the “Will Grier effect” comes in. We became accustomed to Grier making defenses pay for sending pressure like Oklahoma State did. If he couldn’t make the throw, his athletic ability would help him elude pressure to scramble or throw the ball away. Doege does not possess that ability.
Though Doege is not necessarily a statue in the pocket, he isn’t very quick on his feet. This does not mean he is a “bad” quarterback, what it means is Doege isn’t equip to have monstrous days against defenses like Oklahoma State’s.
Instead, Doege will find the most of his success against teams who run a lot of zone and refrain from sending a plethora of pressure. He excels at picking defenses apart, and is not going to have very many “wow” plays. On the other hand, Will Grier was basically all “wow.”
Grier just had the “it” factor. His throws, the plays he made with his feet, just everything that man did on the field would make one’s jaw drop. Mountaineer Nation wants our next “great” quarterback to be like him. They want a difference maker, and they will likely nitpick every quarterback we have until the next “guy” arrives.
Will Grier spoiled Mountaineer Nation, and his success ruined us. We want that greatness, but it just isn’t on our team right now. Jarret Doege has every ability necessary to be successful in the Big 12, but we just can’t put Will Grier sized pressure on him as a fanbase. Take what we can get and understand he is the answer for Neal Brown’s vision of the team moving forward.
One day, there another star will arise at the quarterback position for the Mountaineers. Until then, just sit back, relax, and enjoy some West Virginia Football.