Teammates were understandably reluctant to about Will Grier in the spring. For starters, they weren’t sure he’d be the starter. True, most of them had known they known him for going on a year, and man of them really liked him, but they had only seen him play as a scout team quarterback and never in charge of West Virginia’s offense, which is to say West Virginia’s fate.
The spring has come and gone, and Grier starred as optimists expected, and last week the NCAA approved his reinstatement request. He’s able to play the first game of the season and onward, and all indications are he’ll be the starter. It’s weird, but a whole lot has changed for Grier in 12 months, but he nevertheless enrolled as the heir apparent and now seems poised to be just that.
On the field and in the eyes of his teammates, who are now ready to rave, Grier has shown himself to be basically untouchable.
“I’m not going to be able to put my hands on him,” defensive end Reese Donahue said.
Grier was the team’s top quarterback throughout the spring, and head coach Dana Holgorsen treated him that way by using him with the first team as often as possible and preventing anyone from hitting him. The Mountaineers have many expectations for a future with Grier and how it might be different from their past, but they’re convinced that safeguard will not change.
“I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to get a finger on him,” middle linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton said. “Even if I could, I probably wouldn’t do it, just for the simple fact he gives us the best chance to do what we want to do this year to get to the goals we want to get to.”
Then again, there’s no guaranteeing anyone could get to Grier to shiver his shoulder pads on a regular basis, either. He was protected in the spring, but the way Grier plays can keep him out of trouble, too.
“He has an ability to get the ball out of his hands and make simple, routine plays,” running back Justin Crawford said. “He doesn’t always try to go for the big plays. When he gets a chance, he does take it, but mostly it’s just the routine plays.”
In the meantime, the Mountaineers acquired many players over the weekend, and three of them catch passes.