by Jim Buzzerd


Grier passes on bowl

As had been widely speculated West Virginia University quarterback Will Grier announced Saturday that he will not play for the Mountaineers in their upcoming game against Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl on December 28. The senior released the following statement

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…”

Trying to gage the reaction of his “Mountaineer Family” to the news has been interesting. Comment sections of news outlets and online chat rooms are easiest places to find what people are saying. There is plenty of grumbling out there, but the majority of those saying anything are supporting Grier. Shoot, many of those suggesting he has an obligation to play understand his position.

What does his coach say?

“Will and I spoke at length about the bowl game, and I am fully supportive of his decision to begin preparing for the NFL Draft,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. “While we will miss him in Orlando, Will’s commitment and service to WVU Football over the last three years will be talked about for many years to come.  He led us with class, hard work and a willingness to learn, and set a high standard for his teammates. He will always be part of our family, and we wish him, Jeanne and Eloise all the best in pursuit of their dreams.”

So, with Grier’s Mountaineer career in the books, the next man up appears to be sophomore Jack Allison who has thrown just 10 passes this season and completed six, including a 32 yard touchdown to Gary Jennings. It is not known at this point if Holgorsen has any plans to utilize freshman quarterback Trey Lowe. New redshirt rules this season allow a player to appear in four games and still redshirt, so Lowe could play and lose no eligibility.

Call this funny, or sad, but Saturday afternoon literally a couple hours after Grier’s announcement, there were fans already calling for Lowe to start over Allison.  I’m not angry Grier isn’t playing; definitely disappointed because his absence makes it that much more difficult to win. I am looking forward to seeing what Allison can do with three weeks of game prep.  If Lowe is ready I want to see him get snaps also.

So far left tackle Yodny Cajuste has also announced he will also be skipping the bowl game, which isn’t good news for Allison. WVU play by play announcer Tony Caridi has hinted that one or two more players could opt out of the game.