(Photo by WVU Athletics)
It seems like yesterday that Will Grier was lighting up the scoreboards in Morgantown. The Florida transfer came to West Virginia with a lot of promise and left with his name all over the record books for the Mountaineers. Now that nearly five years have passed since he last suited up for the Old Gold & Blue, fans have had the time to process his career as a whole and assess where he stands in the history of Mountaineer Football.
It’s no secret that I absolutely HATED Grier’s decision to sit out the 2018 Camping World Bowl. If you would have asked me what I thought of Grier at the time of the news, I probably would have said that he didn’t even deserve to be considered a Mountaineer. I was THAT infuriated.
However, as time has went on, I have simmered down on the topic. It took me a little while, but I finally realized just how insignificant the bowl game against Syracuse was. Grier had his eyes set on the NFL and wanted to protect his future for his family. That was a respectable decision and my reaction was purely out of fan emotion.
With that being said, I figured it was time for me to give my two cents on Will Grier’s time at West Virginia University. Looking at it from a distance, Grier’s stats would obviously rank him among the best in Mountaineer Football history.
Here is where the North Carolina native ranks against other signal-callers in the major statistical categories for the Mountaineers:
Career passing yards (7,354) – 3rd
Career passing touchdowns (71) – 2nd
300-yard passing games (19) – 1st
Completions (516) – 5th
Longest pass (82 yards) – 7th
*Stats per WVUStats.com*
Those are numbers that virtually any quarterback would love to put up in college. Matched with Offensive Coordinator Jake Spavital, Grier lit up opposing defenses seemingly every weekend, and even found himself finishing 4th in the 2018 Heisman Trophy voting.
With so many accolades, why is Grier still such a hot topic of conversation with fans? Shouldn’t he be a shoo-in as one of the best quarterbacks in Mountaineer Football history?
Well, not exactly.
Though Grier had the stats, he simply didn’t have the big moments that his counterparts did. You can argue his two-point conversion against Texas, sure. That will be a moment that will live in the memory of Mountaineer fans forever, but outside of being what was obviously an exciting play, it really wasn’t all that significant in the grand scheme of things.
The Mountaineers did not win the Big 12 in 2018 nor did they even secure a spot in the title game. Had they at least competed for the crown, this would have been a moment of significance for the team. The lack of accomplishments will be what ultimately hinder Grier’s time with the Mountaineers.
That feat is not entirely his fault, but unfortunately a team’s success will fall back on the quarterback almost every time.
WVU’s record with Will Grier at starting quarterback:
Big 12 play: 11-6
Bowl games: 0-0
Rivals: 0-1 (Virginia Tech, 2017)
Highest Big 12 finish: 4th
Despite the video game-like numbers, Will Grier’s career in Morgantown was sadly not one that will ever be seen by me as an “all-time great.” It was fun and flashy, but the substance to be considered legendary simply isn’t there. Grier will ultimately remembered as a “what could have been” rather than a “what was.”
As for where he ranks in company of quarterbacks at WVU? I’m not sure. That’s another article for another time. However, should I ever decide to write that article, you can expect there to be quite a few names above his.