Florida Gators quarterback Will Grier will be transferring from the program GatorCountry has learned.
The transfer comes in the midst of a yearlong suspension for Grier due to failing a NCAA drug test for taking an over the counter supplement. The suspension, which began on October 12, would keep Grier from playing at Florida, or any Division-1 school until the seventh week of the 2016 season.
Head coach Jim McElwain recently stated that Grier would rejoin the team in practices and activities as early as January 5, following Florida’s bowl game against Michigan, however after news broke Saturday that Grier would transfer Florida released a statement from McElwain.
Will came to me about exploring his options to transfer. We will support him and help him in anyway we can,” the statement reads. “This has been very difficult on him and obviously he is looking for a fresh start. We will always be there for him as will all Gators.”
Grier retained attorney Clay Townsend to file an appeal of the suspension to the NCAA. Townsend and Grier were hoping to have the suspension reduced, allowing Grier to play at the beginning of the 2016 season, but that appeal was denied on November 20.
Grier has not practiced with the team since his suspension. The Gators were 5-0 when Grier started this season (6-0 overall) before Treon Harris led the team to a 4-3 record down the stretch. Grier completed 106-of-161 (65.8%) pass attempts for 1,204 yards and 10 touchdowns to just three interceptions before his suspension.
If Grier transfers to another Division I school he would be forced to sit out a season due to NCAA transfer rules and, from what Gator Country has gathered, would not be able to serve his current suspension for banned substances concurrently while sitting out as a transfer. Grier could transfer to a junior college to play right away, then return to a Division I school in 2017, sit out the first six games and then resume his career as a redshirt junior.
Kassidy Hill and Nick de la Torre contributed to this report.