Will Grier put on a show for Giants general manager Dave Gettleman and the other NFL GMs in attendance for West Virginia’s 59-56 home loss to Oklahoma on Friday.
The 23-year-old QB and Heisman Trophy candidate threw for a career-high 539 yards while completing 32 of 49 passes with four touchdowns. He even added a rushing TD, though he did have two fumbles that both resulted in touchdowns for the Sooners.
Like any QB-needy NFL team, the Giants should be impressed with Grier’s arm in their ongoing evaluation of the 2019 NFL QB Draft class.
But aside from his cannon, what else makes up this potential Big Blue draft target? Here are some things you need to know about Grier:
1. Florida > NCAA ban > West Virginia
After going 6-0 to start his collegiate career with the Florida Gators, Grier was suspended for a calendar year in October 2015 after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Ligandrol. A year later he told Bleacher Report he was unaware that the substance, which allows muscles to recover faster, is prohibited by the NCAA, even though it isn’t on the organization’s list of banned substances.
Grier did not return to the Gators and instead transferred to West Virginia, knowing he would have to sit out the entire year due to transfer rules. In 11 games for the Mountaineers last season, Grier threw for 3,490 yards, 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a 64.4 completion percentage. A finger injury cut short his 2017 season.
2. Family man
Grier met his wife Jeanne, a former Tampa Bay Bucs chearleader, while the two were at Florida, and married two years later. They have a two-year daughter, Eloise. The QB gets up with Eloise at about 7:30 a.m. every day and spends the morning with her at their home in Morgantown, W.V., before heading to the stadium. He even makes it home in time to tuck her in. (Washington Post)
The daily routine earned Grier his nickname — “Old Man” — among his WVU teammates.
3. Mobile in the pocket, unlike, well, you know…
Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt has compared Grier to Johnny Manziel. That may not sound like a ringing endorsement of Grier’s NFL future, but you’d rather have Manziel’s mobility in the pocket over Eli Manning’s, no? Grier has shown an ample ability to scramble and evade defenders.
He’s also an accurate passer, but has shown that there’s room for improvement in his decision making, especially when he’s trying to force throws under pressure.
4. Plenty of fame in the Grier clan
Grier has nothing on his brothers when it comes to social media stardom. His brother Nash, 20, shot to fame thanks to the now-defunct Vine video app, and boasts 9.9 million followers on Instagram. Nash was even named one of Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Teens” in 2014.
Hayes Grier, 18, followed in Nash’s footsteps as an internet star and became the youngest male contestant ever to appear on “Dancing With the Stars.” He and Nash both live in Los Angeles. Their five-year-old half-sister, Skylynn, has a modest 1.1 million Instagram followers.
“If we walked down the street, I’d be the least famous, completely,” Will told ESPN last year.
5. A high school game for the record books
Grier’s 2012 playoff victory against North Carolina high school Harrells Christian was no ordinary outing. As a junior QB for Davidson Day (N.C.), he threw for a national record of 837 yards and 10 touchdowns in a 104-80 victory.
“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of,” he said. “It was ridiculous.”