Will Grier’s collegiate career has been full of ups, downs, twists and turns. The same can be said about what’s been reported regarding his transfer from the University of Florida to West Virginia following a suspension from a positive PED test in 2015.
The latest report about how exactly the departing took place is… not exactly enjoyable for Gator fans. But hey, it might reaffirm any disdain you might have for former coach Jim McElwain.
One former UF assistant told Bleacher Report that McElwain was concerned about winning with a quarterback he himself recruited, which led to McElwain pushing the quarterback away from the program in 2015. Here’s a passage from the piece:
“It had everything to do with Mac wanting to win with his own guy. Grier was [former Gators coach Will] Muschamp’s recruit. We were floored by it. You’ve got a guy that can win big in this league at that position? Those dudes are rare. Who cares if [Grier] like hanging around his girl more than his teammates? That was the big knock on him; he wasn’t a team guy. Come on, man –because he liked spending time with his girl? We scored 38 on that Ole Miss defense with all those NFL players!
“We knew right then it wasn’t just a big gamble — it was a decision that was going to bite us all in the ass.” — Via Bleacher Report
Uh, yeah. I’d say so. It cost McElwain and every assistant coach their jobs at Florida when Dan Mullen entered and replaced them all with his own guys. Hmm, sound familiar?
Some former players, like Joey Ivie, took to Twitter to reminisce about what could’ve been had Grier never transferred.
Some, though, like former Gators QB Luke Del Rio, rejected many of the report’s details in his podcast. Keep in mind he was recruited by McElwain (though he has criticized McElwain before). He claims:
1. McElwain didn’t push Grier out, but he wasn’t going to guarantee him the starting job when he returned from suspension.
2. McElwain didn’t ask Grier to stay away from the team, he just wasn’t around the team much after the suspension because he felt awkward.
3. Grier was not a bad teammate. He just had his group of friends he hung around.
At this point, much of this whole story is hearsay. The only people that truly know how it all went down are two people: McElwain and Grier. That’s it.
But if the former assistant’s words are true, and McElwain preferred his own recruit — like Franks or Del Rio — over a guy now in Heisman Trophy conversations? Good luck stomaching that one, Gator fans.