QB Will Grier to transfer from Florida Gators

By Adam Silverstein
December 19, 2015

Just days after head coach Jim McElwain said at a media availability that he expected redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier to rejoin the Florida Gators on Jan. 5, 2016, ahead of spring practice, Grier will instead transfer from the program.

According to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, Grier “met with the [coaching] staff last week” about his decision. OnlyGators.com confirmed Grier’s departure via team sources, and the team announced the move later Saturday.

“Will came to me about exploring his options to transfer. We will support him and help him in [any way] we can. 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,” McElwain said in a statement.

On Monday, McElwain expanded on Grier’s decision to transfer.

“We have a guy in Will Grier that’s asked to transfer. He came in Friday after his finals and we talked. There’s times in everybody’s life where sometimes a change of scenery could be helpful. Let’s not forget all the things he’s been through,” the coach said. “It was hard. It was something, I’m sure, that [their family] talked about. That’s kind of it. I’m all about helping, whatever we can do. In this case, we’re going to be there to help him as he goes from there. … We’ll move forward.”

McElwain later refuted the prospect that it was the coach who forced Grier out of the program, noting that the player “came in and asked for a release.” He did, however, infer that there are transfer restrictions on Grier, namely he cannot transfer to any other SEC program or likely teams that Florida will face over the remainder of his college career.

“We anticipated him being here. Obviously, the choice was made to go somewhere else. I’m not real fired up about seeing him in the SEC,” McElwain said. “We signed a bunch of … every school that he brought up. We’re here to support him.”

Grier is the third quarterback rated four stars or higher to transfer from the Gators over the last four seasons, joining Jeff Driskel (Louisiana Tech) and Jacoby Brissett (NC State).

However, unlike Driskel and Brissett, Grier looked to have finally emerged as a legitimate, game-changing starting for Florida. He led the Gators to a come-from-behind 28-27 win over Tennessee only to turn around the next week and help Florida rout then-No. 3 Ole Miss 38-10. UF was undefeated in the five games Grier started, outscoring opponents 101-49.

Prior to the LSU contest, Grier was suspended for 365 days by the NCAA for violating the organization’s policy on banned substances. The player admitted to taking an over-the-counter supplement that apparently contained the banned substance for which he was suspended; nearly two months later, Grier lost an appeal to the NCAA seeking to limit the length of his suspension to the end of the 2015 season.

He was not set to be eligible until Florida’s seventh game of the 2016 season, and his suspension will remain in place at whatever institution to which he chooses to transfer. Of course, Grier will also have to sit out his remaining six-game suspension following his NCAA transfer year.

The Gators offense struggled following Grier’s departure with sophomore Treon Harris failing to even lead Florida to an offensive touchdown in its rivalry game against Florida State.

Harris, redshirt sophomore Luke Del Rio and a pair of early enrollees in four-star Feleipe Franks and two-star Kyle Trask will all vie for the starting job this offseason.


  1. HoneyBee says:

    Any sane person would have saw this coming. I’m so glad to hear this, don’t need selfish players on the team. Can’t wait to see Franks lead this team, he’s a well put together young man.

  2. 1974Gator says:

    First he gets suspended for using PEDs and then he bails. UF stands by him and allows him to stay on scholarship and continue get a VERY valuable education. Maybe there is a good reason but I’m tempted to call him a jerk.
    If he goes JC he will still have to serve his last 6 months of suspension before playing D1. If he transfers to another D1 school he gets to sit out a year and then serve the rest of his suspension. ??????
    He has had the benefit of being tutored by one of the best QB coaches in the country and he thinks he’s gonna find a better opportunity in a high visibility program? I guess competing against Treon is one thing but against Felipe (et al) is another. Someone needs to remind Will that iron sharpens iron and that competition against the best is good for his career. As we have seen happen so often, QBs get hurt and the next guy steps up.
    Where was the person, in his ear now, when he should have been counseled to give all the chemicals he was putting in his body to the trainer for analysis? Now they’re counseling he bolt?
    I hope it works out for you Will. I’ll be following your career wherever you land.

    • ken (CA) says:

      This kind of reminds me of the QB at USC a number of years ago that was “bred to be a QB” and his father pushed him all along the way, finally just after or just before being drafted they caught him on PEDs and he never played.

      This feels very similar. The father printing up all those t-shirts and pictures with all e good looking girls trying to make his case and the high powered layer, etc.

      Not taking responsibility for what he did, but rather trying to find the easy way out.

  3. Matt Burris says:

    I wonder if it has to do with the terrible performance of the offense since his suspension? I imagine people around the campus grew more hostile towards him as the offense grew worse and worse. Much like with Driskel, he probably didn’t want to have to deal with that kind of pressure and vitriol. It’s unfortunate, but inevitable, I suppose.

    It’ll suck if he ends up going to South Carolina to be with Muschamp, especially if he does well when/if he starts.

    • Michael Jones says:

      I don’t think it was inevitable. I don’t think it speaks well of Will. And he never experienced anything like the undeserved vitriol that Gator Nation embarrassingly and disgustingly heaped upon Driskel. . . never have figured out why Treon has received a relative pass compared to the abuse heaped upon Driskel, a night/day better QB than Treon will ever be who will get drafted by the NFL after this season.

      And if Will goes to USC Muschamp will destroy him just like he did Driskel. McElwain is a QB whisperer. Muschamp is a QB destroyer.

    • 305Gator says:

      You are kidding right? Blaming the fans? The only one to blame here is Grier, he is the dumb butt that took the banned substance, he is the moron that sat through countless meetings and heard countless warnings not to take anything before it was cleared by the UF staff, he is the idiot that took it anyways without checking. In reality he was no good to us having to wait until game 7 to be able to play, by that time the rotation will be set and a starter will be established.

  4. g8ter27 says:

    I think there is a lot more going on here and coach Mac realizes this kid is not worth the trouble he is causing.

    • Gatorcove says:

      You are more right than you might realize. There is more to this story than what is being reported. McElwain told him he needed to go but let him make the first move (Mac’s MO with these situations, i.e., see decommitments). I don’t think the guy wanted to leave but he was shown the door.

  5. johnnyappleseed says:

    Those of you that have prepared an epitaph for Treon Harris should be ashamed of yourselves. He is, without question, the odds on favorite to remain UF’s starter in the fall. Who is there to compete with him, a seasoned Junior who has played, started, and won a lot of games for Florida? Luke del Rio? A washout at two previous schools who is so highly thought of by UF that they won’t even give him a scholarship? An incoming freshman, one who can’t even start in high school, and the other who everyone says is talented but very raw and not ready to play at the next level?
    The only scenario I see for Harris NOT to be UF’s starter in the Fall is if UF can get a transfer who is eligible immediately. Trevor Knight of Oklahoma comes to mind. Barring that, it’s time for fans to start appreciate what they have in Harris, it could be a lot worse. Perspective is needed, as well. Harris is as good, or better, than every other quarterback in the sorry division UF plays in, the SEC East. I’m sure they’d love to have Junior who has already taken the majority of the snaps at UF for two years. But whoever said that fans were intelligent in the first place/ I’m sure the Harris bashing will go on unabated. I think the bashing is misdirected anyway. Didn’t McElwain say he could win with his dog playing quarterback? Maybe he’s the one who should be the target of the venom?

    • Fatback says:

      Did you watch the last half of the season?

      • johnnyappleseed says:

        Yes. I saw. Harris was not terrible, considering the circumstances. He played well against LSU. The defense folding up is the reason UF lost.UF scored 28 points, but the defense allowed 35. Harris played well against Georgia, and UF won easily. UF had a terrible offensive line and was 128th in yards per carry on offense, and you blame Harris? Against FAU, they were dominating and hit Harris repeatedly. Even then, Harris threw a touchdown pass in the first quarter, but Robinson dropped it. To blame Harris for getting hit and fumbling is ludicrous. Believe it or not, both FSU and Alabama have great defense, better than UF’s, and to blame Harris when he was being hit on almost every down is ludicrous as well. A god quarterback is not the norm, it’s a rare thing in college football. As I said before, who in the SEC East has a better quarterback than Harris? Even LSU, who beat UF, doesn’t have a quarterback better than Harris. In fact, the UF defense is the only one that made him look good the entire year. The point is that there is not ANYONE on the roster that is a better alternative than Harris, who will be a seasoned Junior with extensive playing time. You can ruin a quarterback, in the pros and college, if you throw him to the wolves before he is ready. That’s not a prescription to building a great program. Maybe Jeff Driskel might have been good if he had not played any significant minutes until his third or fourth year on campus. As for Del Rio, he hasn’t done a thing to merit any confidence that he can play a lick, unlike Harris who has won some pretty big games for UF. The old adage applies here: Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

      • Dave Massey says:

        This is what you get when you breed a toilet and an apple. This clown. AKA eggboy, Michael J, etc. You’re still not fooling me. All you do is prove what a low life ass you are by trying to pretend you care for Florida. Why don’t you get some guts and grow a set of balls and say you’re a nolehole troll and then spout your goo?

    • 1974Gator says:

      What are you smoking? Any QB alternative is better for us to try.

    • Michael Jones says:

      You must be a fan of every SEC team except for UF.

  6. Deathroll says:

    Just don’t get this unless there is more to the story. What benefit is there to transferring now? I just assumed he would stick with UF through the coming year and then make a decision at the end of the year.

  7. Spuntly says:

    Weak. I am no longer a fan. It seems he had an option to man up and go through the hoops necessary to have the chance to get back what once was his or to quit and leave with his tail between his legs. He chose the latter. Unless there is some underlying reasons that would make more sense, this is a huge loss for Will. Despite his football record, as a man, he is 0-2.
    I bet he ends up at UNC.

  8. EricaE says:

    Word on the street is that the drug tests came back and showed it was not possible for Will to have taken what he said he took..pretty much the kid was lying and we believed him making us look stupid. My guess is that Will at this point would be more of a distraction than help for next season.

  9. Corey says:

    Looks like he want to sit out for an extra year. This tells me that Franks was going to eat him alive.

  10. Mac_supporter says:


    Do you think there is more to this story? Is it simply about a fresh start?

  11. WTH says:

    He can always go compete on Dancing with the Stars with his brother !!!

  12. Mac_supporter says:

    McAllister dismissed???

  13. Nick says:

    We freed Willy

  14. uf_84 says:

    This pretty much garantees we will suck offensively all next year as well.

  15. KarVer says:

    Willy had a mountain of potential messed up. And hoped he would stay. He didn’t and he is a pansy! Immature, selfish, weak. I had thought highly of him and thought he would rebound next year. His loss is a new open spot.
    Come on Gators! GET UP AND GO!!

  16. Michael Jones says:

    And so ends the saga of Will Grier’s career at Florida. So much promise . . so much hope . . a flash of brilliance . . a shooting star. . . and then gone? Just like that? In circumstances like this? Kind of sad, really. More than sad. Heartbreaking.

    I was a big fan and believed that his magic would prevail over any challenger. Now we’ll never know.

    Take care, Will. All the best. We barely knew you.

    • KB says:

      Well said Sir… well said.
      As a fan of all UF programs it does seem like we can’t have nice things as often it appears anything good or great does not last forever or disappears relatively quickly. At least it seems to be that way over recent memory but it is what it is and as a fan you have to remain optimistic. The concern and trepidation is for the unknown and we all felt confidence based in what Grier showed us in those 6 games. So now you hope that things work out for the best and whomever it is at QB in the future, whether that is Treon, Del Rio, Franks, or some other unknown at this point; we just want that person to play well and the team to improve upon this season. If it is Treon then I pray for redemption and improvement in all facets of his game. Come rain or shine I will be watching and cheering like hell for whomever that guy is. Coach Mac has work to do so all confidence remains in him doing the job he has been hired to do. This is still a work in progress and hopefully at some point we can look back on this and other things that have transpired over this season as the start or build up back to something great.

    • johnnyappleseed says:

      Ah, the imagined greatness of Will Grier…the continuing saga of some fans wishes being transformed in to a reality that never happened. Guess what? Treon Harris also led UF back from oblivion against Tennessee, and at their stadium, which is a more significant feat than winning at home. Harris was also the quarterback that has been at the helm when UF beat Georgia the last two years. I see that no one has come up with a quarterback in the SEC east that is better than Harris. Grier had a great game against Ole Miss, a good 4th quarter against Tennessee, and a good 1st quarter against Missouri. That is not worthy of the “brilliance,” “shooting star,” fantasy that is now reality in an addled mind. I see some folks even have opined that Jeff Driskel is better than Harris. I guess they don’t want to remember his performance on Homecoming against Missouri that was the final straw to bench him forever. It doesn’t occur to the minds of the fantasy believers that UF has a lot more problems on offense than Harris. The receivers are still mediocre. The runners average. The offensive line is horrible, and will lose two starters this year. Believe it or not, getting hit on almost every play, sacked or not, takes a toll on almost any quarterback not named Winston. It also would help to have competent receivers who won’t drop touchdown passes like Robinson did against FAU. UF won, and they lose as a team. The excuses made for the defense are accepted as fact. Now there’s the on that UF’s defense got “wore out” against FSU. The facts speak differently. UF had the ball more than FSU, but FSU’s defense didn’t whine about being on the field too long. As I have said before, no one has said who is a better alternative to Harris. McElain knows the answer, and that’s why Harris is, and, in all probability, will continue to be UF’s starting quarterback in the Fall.

      • Michael Jones says:

        They’ve got this new thing out there. . . it’s called a paragraph. You ought to try one. It might make reading your unbearable drivel just a tad less unbearable. . .but, nah, I doubt it.

        We don’t teach writing like that at UF so I’m guessing you’re a Tally product.

        Treon’s first pass against UT was a late behind-the-receiver out pick-six down the right sideline that the DB dropped. And his luck continued like that for awhile (e.g. see miracle TD catch by the same tightend against LSU that moments before dropped a strike from Driskel in the endzone) but, inevitably, his lack of ability to play D-I QB came to the front. Nothing personal against him. Seems to be a good kid and he tries hard, which I love in any competitor. But he should probably be running the option for Georgia Southern or some program like that, although even their QB’s throw the ball better than Treon.

        Now please shut up and go back to that place where trolls live during the off season.

      • Spuntly says:

        Wow, what a sad waste of life. I hope you don’t have kids. If you do, please give them up to a foster home so they can be raised to not be anything that reflects your sorry ass.

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