Will Grier’s transfer catches Florida Gators off guard

As Gators counted down the days until Will Grier would return to the field this October a collective gasp could be heard when news broke that the suspended redshirt freshman had decided to transfer. Fans weren’t the only ones caught off guard; Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain was surprised as well.

“We anticipated him being here,” McElwain said on Monday. “Obviously the choice was made to go somewhere else.”

“We obviously thought he was coming back, that’s what we had a couple weeks ago. But in this case, that’s a choice. The one thing I’ll never do is make someone do something they don’t want to do.”

Grier, who hasn’t practiced with the team since his suspension in October, met with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier two weeks ago before meeting with McElwain later the same week. The meeting went well enough for McElwain to state that Grier would rejoin team activities following the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. That changed when Grier came to McElwain’s office to tell his now former head coach of his intentions to transfer.

Something in the Grier camp changed during the following week and, while McElwain was caught off guard, he did say he would support Grier as he looked to find a new school.

“In life, sometimes change of scenery is good,” said McElwain. “In this case, he’s going to go have a successful career and go on to play in the NFL. We’ll help him and support him in every way we can.”

That support does come with a caveat, according to Mark Long of the Associated Press. Long tweeted on Monday that Grier won’t be able to transfer to a school in the SEC and “possibly more.”

“I’m not real fired up about seeing him in the SEC, but we signed a bunch of, every school that he brought up,” McElwain said of signing off on teams that Grier could contact. “We’re here to support him.”

Grier had become a favorite in the locker room and sophomore David Sharpe called losing his former starting quarterback “very sad.”

“That was one of my close friends,” he said. “Yeah, it surprised me.”

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC


  1. His transfer news is beyond disappointing. I’m having a hard time finding the good in it all…I also don’t get it. He does his time and comes back and earns his spot back. He makes some bad choices and now the team and the Gator nation pay the price. I hope he’s ok ’cause I’m still having a hard time. I wish him the best. Go Gators.

  2. Nick, Once again we find ourselves in a position we have been in since the departure of Tim Tebow. With the exception of Will Grier, who joins a long line of former Gator Quarterbacks who have gone on to prominence elsewhere, we have another situation of untested QBs or those for whom a zone coverage is an impenetrable secret. Why are we surprised at Will’s departure? Playing quarterback for Florida used to be a entree into Heisman consideration. Lately we have been forced to endure quarterbacking for which the term mediocre would be a complement. Why does the flagship university for the state of Florida seem to be unable to recruit and retain exemplary collegiate QBs ?

  3. Why are we being so dramatic? Is his transfer ideal? No. Is it the end of the world? Absolutely not. We’ve become such a QB thirsty fan base that average QB with some potential has us devastated, he has some good tools but his share of limitations. For one he has no touch on deep ball or ability to stretch the field after his straightline arm strength. Am I the only one that saw the first 3 qtrs of Tenn, plus UK and Mizz? What about Ole Miss? Yes he played well but our defense gave him plenty of short fields and we played with a huge lead.

    We are looking for answers at the QB position and in this scheme Treon is not it, Grier needs more development and sitting out the 1st six games next year is not ideal for progression or Mac’s 24 month plan. Lets look to a promising future and not what if’s of kid that made a mistake and decision best for his future.

    • You’re exactly right. Grier was an average QB with an upside. He was a decent game manager and didn’t turn the ball over. Other than that, he was definitely not the next Grossman as I’ve seen a few Gator fans say. Against New Mexico State, East Carolina and Kentucky, the most passing yards he had was 166. Not once did he have a 300 yard game. His biggest accomplishment was a 15 yard pass that Callaway did all the work on. Harris’ complete disaster of a season has made a lot of people give way more credit to Grier than his stats suggest. McElwain turned a couple of no name QB’s into champions, I’ll trust he’ll get the most out of one of these 6′-5″ freshman with rocket arms into a good enough QB to do at least what Grier was able to do, if not more.

  4. After seeing Will Grier play the first three games this year I was convinced he would probably be the best Pro QB to ever come out of Florida. I am pulling for Will to be successful wherever he plays. I thins he has made a terrible mistake but he is convinced this is best for him. I never though he would be back after he was suspended and never even practiced with the team again. So it did not surprise me he decided to leave. During this time I am sure his Dad and his Attorney had a lot to do with his decision. I will always believe his Dad and Attorney became very greedy and put a lot of stuff in Will’s mind. Anyway the windshield going forward is a lot larger than the rear view mirror. MOVE FORWARD IT IS ALOT CLEARER.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!