Davidson (N.C.) Day quarterback Will Grier has given Gator fans even more reason to be excited for his 2014 arrival in Gainesville.
The Florida commit, who holds the national high school record for most passing yards (837) in a game, finished No. 3 in the final Elite 11 rankings last Wednesday at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
He made The Opening’s all-tournament team and led his 7-on-7 squad, Alpha Pro, to the championship, where it lost 21-14 to the Field Generals and Elite 11 MVP Sean White.
During the telecast of the event, ESPN National Recruiting Director Tom Luginbill said he saw a stronger arm from Grier than in years past.
“A lot of high-velocity rhythms,” Luginbill said. “He didn’t necessarily have that same type of ball speed as a sophomore or junior. He seems to have added some strength to be able to fit those balls into tight spots at intermediate and deeper areas of the field.”
Grier had a SPARQ rating of 99.45. He measured in at 6-foot-2.5 and 181 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.73 seconds. But his best time was a 3.96 shuttle, which was just two hundredths of a second shy of the mark set by Speedy Noil, who won the SPARQ competition.
Given his athleticism and dual-threat ability, Elite 11 coach Yogi Roth wasn’t expecting Grier to throw so well in Oregon. He also didn’t see much of him at the Charlotte NFTC on May 5 due to weather conditions that Roth said were the worst he’s seen at any combine in 15 years.
However, Grier “didn’t flinch” that day, won quarterback MVP and received an invite to the Elite 11. He proved his worth this past week.
“He did an incredible job of what we call tying your feet to your eyes,” Roth said. “Everything starts with your eyes. So wherever they look, your feet will follow and that will allow you to be an accurate quarterback. And Will Grier, half of his game is running. He’s such a tremendous athlete. So in this setting, for him to thrive like this, it’s pretty impressive.”
He also praised the future Gator for his attentiveness on the gridiron, in meetings and with guest speakers. Roth said Grier earned the nickname John Connor from the Terminator movies because “he’s that dialed in.”
Trent Dilfer, former NFL QB and head coach of the Elite 11, recognized the same qualities in Grier.
“This guy is a stone-cold assassin,” Dilfer said. “Laser-like focus. I spent a lot of time getting to know him as person. I think this is a special young man.”