Friday, October 21, 2016

Does Grier Give Holgorsen More Than Thought?

WVU fans have been waiting on Coach Holgorsen to land “his quarterback” since the departure of Geno Smith and while that leads to a whole different type of debate, he seems to have finally landed that quarterback in Will Grier. Senior signal caller Skyler Howard is in his final season of eligibility and the current depth chart does not yield much experience. Grier, although away from live game situations for one more season, will bring the most experience among the QB’s on the roster.

Grier was rated as the number two quarterback in the 2014 class. Committing to Florida, Grier would start six games last season putting the Gators in the National Championship picture with a 6-0 record. Grier would later be suspended before the LSU game and finished the season with over 1,200 yards passing and 10 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. The impressive part of Grier’s season was his ability to take care of the football with a 66% completion percentage.

When you look at the stats that Grier compiled at Florida, it appears that Coach Holgorsen has landed the quarterback that so many fans have been waiting on so I ask this question; Does Holgorsen get a pass on this season to allow his evaluators to see what he can do with Grier next season?

Holgorsen’s contract does extend through 2017 where he is set to make $2.9 million next season. However, speculation has continued about his future after WVU athletic director Shane Lyons informed the media that contract negotiations had broken down in February stating, “There will be no change in Dana’s contract at this time.” This announcement came not long after Lyons stated, “Dana Holgorsen will return as our head football coach in 2016,” but would not elaborate past this coming season.

Now we have to assume that Holgorsen maintains a record above the .500 benchmark, anything less than 6-6 could potentially make this entire question null and void. Let’s examine what Holgorsen would have returning on offense if given another season.

Grier would provide the Mountaineers with experience at the quarterback position that most teams don’t have when a senior graduates. Grier has experience winning within the nation’s most prestige conference. Aside from Grier, WVU will feature a stable of running backs that is expected to be led by Jordan Crawford, Kennedy McKoy, and Martell Pettaway. The wide receiver position in 2017 has the looks to be the scariest that WVU has seen in many seasons. Shelton Gibson, Jovon Durante, and Ka’Raun White will more than likely be the starters with Steven Smothers, Marcus Simms, and Gary Jennings factoring into the mix. Also consider that WVU has Mike Harley as a 2017 commit who could contribute as a freshman. The WVU coaching staff has also worked on improving the TE position that will feature Trevon Wesco and Stone Wolfley this season.

The weapons appear to be in place for 2017 to be an explosive season for the Mountaineers but the question remains, will Coach Holgorsen be the man leading this team onto the field against Virginia Tech in the opener of 2017?

And while looking ahead is not on the minds of most Mountaineer fans right now the future is somewhat uncertain in Morgantown, does Grier change that at least for one more season following 2016?

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