It was bound to happen at some point. West Virginia quarterback Will Grier announced his decision to sit out of West Virginia’s upcoming bowl trip to the Camping World Bowl against Syracuse, thus becoming the first notable quarterback to opt out of the college football postseason in favor of preparing for the NFL draft.
“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,” Grier said in a released statement on Saturday morning. “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.”
Grier came to West Virginia to resurrect his college football career after running into a problem at Florida with performance-enhancing drugs that led to an NCAA suspension. Grier took advantage of his opportunity with the Mountaineers by quickly becoming one of the most productive passers in the Big 12. This season, Grier was a finalist for the Walter Camp Award, Maxwell Award, Manning Award and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award after earning second-team All-Big 12 honors for passing for a Big 12-leading 351.3 yards per game with 37 touchdowns and 3,864 passing yards for the Mountaineers. West Virginia fell one win shy of playing for a Big 12 championship this season.
Grier is expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in the 2019 NFL Draft class, so his decision to pas son the bowl game in order to stay in the best shape possible for the upcoming draft process is far from surprising. His decision was made a day after West Virginia starting left tackle Yodny Cajuste opted to do the same.
West Virginia is scheduled to play Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 28.