MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Will Grier, the nation’s fifth-ranked passer, has decided to skip West Virginia’s appearance in the Camping World Bowl in order to begin NFL draft preparations.
A source told MetroNews this week that Grier “was conflicted about the decision for obvious reasons” and that the quarterback “would make the decision together with Dana.”
Grier, who will end his college career never having played in a bowl game at Florida or West Virginia, released a statement Saturday via the athletic department’s website:
Dear Mountaineer Family:
“Since arriving in Morgantown, Jeanne and I have been welcomed into the Mountaineer Family and we, along with Eloise, have been so blessed by the support and love of so many. I hope that, in return, you know that I have given my all and worked hard each and every day to help our football program and University.
“While we did not win every time we took the field, and I shoulder that responsibility, I can assure you that we tried. After discussions with Jeanne and my family, and after receiving professional input, I have decided not to participate in our upcoming bowl game and focus on preparing myself and my family for what I hope is the next step in our journey. I want to thank Coach Holgorsen, Coach Spavital and all of our coaches for believing in me and, most importantly, to my teammates, who are now lifelong friends who taught me the true meaning of TEAM.
“It has been an honor to wear the WVU uniform, and I sincerely thank all of Mountaineer Nation for allowing my family and I to be a part of something so special. Country roads, take me home…”
Grier joins West Virginia left tackle Yodny Cajuste in skipping the lower-tier bowl game, which is viewed as a disappointment after the Mountaineers carried Big 12 championship aspirations all season.
It also remains undetermined whether offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will return for the Camping World Bowl after he took the Texas State head coaching job last week.
Grier considered leaving for the NFL last season after receiving third- and fourth-round evaluations from scouts. Most mock drafts have him as a second-round pick this time.
A transfer from Florida, Grier threw 81 touchdown passes in his college career, including 71 across the past two seasons at West Virginia.
He ranks fifth nationally in passing efficiency, third in passing yards per game (351.3) and third in touchdown passes (37).
Grier closes his West Virginia career with a 15-7 record as a starter.
Sophomore Jack Allison, a Miami transfer, now figures to make the bowl start against Syracuse on Dec. 28 in Orlando. Allison is 6-of-10 passing for 75 yards with one touchdown and one interception this season.