We’re 140 days away from the 2017 season-opener against Virginia Tech, but that doesn’t mean the Hokies are currently sleeping well. Certainly they’re more nervous after watching Will Grier and the WVU football program in their spring game Saturday.
We’ve mentioned how Grier starts games hot, and the Gold-Blue spring game was no different for the Florida transfer.
He completed his first seven pass attempts for a total of 81 yards, and finished the day 12-of-18 for 202 yards. He didn’t reach the endzone, but did lead two scoring drives for the Mountaineer offense. Grier’s long of the day was a 60-yard completion to Ricky Rogers.
Coach Dana Holgorsen was impressed with Grier’s on-field production, but it doesn’t stop there.
"“Yeah. He’s as good as advertised. I just like the kid’s demeanor. I mean, he’s got complete control of the huddle. It’s going to be different when it’s live bullets and he can get hit. We’re obviously protecting him right now.”"
One thing the offense loses with the departure of Skyler Howard is the mobility at the quarterback position. Howard was a key contributor on the ground attack during his career, piling up 1,105 yards and 16 rushing scores. Grier won’t be expected to replicate that, but don’t be surprised when he scrambles around to extend plays come the fall.
"“He’s got complete control. He has a really good idea of what we want him to do offensively. His accuracy is outstanding. The one thing that you can’t see right now because we’re protecting him is his ability to be able to keep the play alive with scrambles and some quarterback run game. He’s better at that than you think because you think since he’s got such a good arm, you think he’s just a pocket guy. But he can move around and make some plays.”"
We didn’t see much of this mobility in the spring game, mainly because Holgorsen opted to protect his signal-caller – a change of pace from year’s past. He’d let Howard run around and make plays because that’s the kind of player he was; it made Howard better, more competitive.
Grier will use his legs during the season, in both scrambles and designed runs. Couple that with his incredible accuracy, both down the field and in tight windows, and the Mountaineers offense is going to run like a well-oiled machine.