Grier reaches elite status

Grier finished higher than quarterbacks David Cornwell, Keller Chryst and DeShaun Watson, all of whom are ranked above him by at least one recruiting service. (Photo by Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer)

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.”


  1. @Jimer

    Im assuming you are referring to how we have had 2 QBs ranked #1 coming out of high school and falter at UF. (Brantley and Driskel so far) I agree that we dont need to screw this one up. That being said, there is still time for Driskel to become a star. The second year in a system always produces improvement.

  2. My bad, just reacting to Dilfer’s comments. Another ‘a’ word would suffice — accurate. This kid seems to be cut from the Wuerfel (sp?) Leak mold, except he’s got legs.

    Let’s hope he sticks with us!

  3. Some of you guys crack me up. So Driskel has “faltered” since coming to UF? Lets see, he pretty much carried his team on his back to a 11-2 record as a true sophomore. So you think he should have come in here and played like Tom Brady as a true freshman? Oh wait, Tom Brady didn’t play like Tom Brady until he was a late round pick of the New England Pats. Give the kid a break, he’s got two great years ahead of him if we can surround him with some decent receivers and strong running game.

  4. LT, Driskel is a junior.. how can you say he has failed? didn’t we win 11 games last season? . I do agree with you on John B but the coaches and system played a major factor in his career though.

  5. 2 different offensive coordinators and a complete overhaul of system. Remember Jeff sticking with Uf during Meyers medical leave, he chose to stick it out and adjust his style. Now lets hope Auburn cant change Griers miind as North Carolina players have have been key for all three BCS championships.

  6. Grier sounds like the real deal.
    The only concern I have, other than changing his commitment between now and February, is the fact that he plays for a small private school in North Carolina. John Brantley was a “can’t miss” player that also played for a small private school so you never really know what you are getting when they play against inferior talent.

    I like guys from 5 or 6A Florida schools but I hope he pans out.

  7. C’mon John M. I wouldn’t say Driskell “carried” UF to an 11-2 record. I do agree he was very solid in his first year as THE starter no question. That said, Mike Gillislee had A HELLUVA LOT to do with things on offense and the defense as a whole was great.

  8. I share Mark T.’s concern as well. Although that concern is mitigated somewhat (but not completely) by his performance at these type of camps with the other big boys at his position.

    The speed of the game and ability to let his instincts take over in the heat of the moment against superior talent (5A or 6A) throughout an 11 game season is still the best way to measure these kids, IMO.

    We’ll see.

  9. I thought Grier was taller than 6′ 2.5″. Hopefully he’ll grow another inch and put on 30-40 lbs. by the time we need him to play in the 2015 season. Sounds like he’s going to be a potentially great dual threat QB. As for Driskel, I expect big things from him next two seasons.

  10. I just read on your twitter page that Rod Johnson (OL signee) tweeted that he has “a A” on his online class with a couple of days to do.

    Obviously, the class is not “an” English class, or he would have “a” F.

  11. Jeff was average at best last season just being real cant blame wr’s & ol for everything. I think we are all gator fans here and we all want to see Jeff or any starting qb play lights out at UF, but we can’t continue to make excuses for a starting qb the threw for about 480 yds more than our starting rb ran for. I for one hopes Jeff really turns it around and I can see he has the potential to be big time.

  12. I think Jeff did okay for a sophomore qb in a first year offense. QB is an area where i think we should expect a big improvement just simply out of normal growth and development.

    Grier has me revved for the future. With Kelvin Taylor and Dalvin Cook, Demarcus Robinson, Ahmad Fulwood, we’ve got some high powered talent at the skill positions in 2-3 years.

  13. Driskel wasn’t worth the five stars he was ranked, but he wasn’t or rather shouldn’t have been this bad either. That’s coaching. Rather than alter the offense to fit Driskel’s spread option style our stubborn coach continued to try and pound a square peg into a round hole.