A Little Know-Howe: Grier Hype Appears Justified as Possible NFL Entry after 2017 Not Out of Question

By Brad Howe on April 22, 2017 from A Little Know-Howe via Connect-Bridgeport.com

It was a simple pass when you think about. One that we will most likely see hundreds of times from teams across college football during the 2017 season. 
 
A 'simple' pass, but it jumped out to me immediately last Saturday during the spring game.
 
Will Grier to Gary Jennings. 
 
Grier took a 'normal' drop back, waited a beat and threw a laser to Jennings, who had simply run down the field about 12 yards and turned around. 
 
First down, move the sticks, go to the next play. 
 
Simple, right? Yes. But, also eye opening. 
 
I'm sure you could go back last year and find a few of the plays I just described. I have no doubt they were there. But the fact that the one play stood out to me on Saturday tells me they weren't that plentiful last year. 
 
So often, the West Virginia passing game seemed like a grind. It seemingly consisted of a downfield heave or a short pass. The intermediate passing game, or lack thereof, always seemed to frustrate Dana Holgorsen. So much so that it seemed to disappear from the playbook. 
 
Am I exaggerating? Probably. I know Dakiel Shorts caught a few balls across the middle. 
 
However, if that part of the passing game was really successful last year, I doubt the Grier to Jennings play would have stood out to me so much on Saturday. 
 
It was the ease in which it was completed that caught my attention. It felt like it could have been repeated immediately if need be. And that, I think is the key. 
 
We've heard Dana Holgorsen say since day one, the key to his offense was moving the sticks. At times over the past two years that seemed difficult to do in the passing game.
 
Will that change this season? It's a small sample size, but if last Saturday is any indication,the answer is yes.
 
Everything you have heard about Will Grier seems to be true. He looks the part. He made every throw. In talking with Jake Spavital this week on Sportsline, Grier not only has the physical tools, but the 'presence' as well. Spavital knows something about that. Davis Webb is about to become the fifth quarterback coached by Spavital to make to the NFL. 
 
The hype around Grier was justified. In fact, maybe we didn't hype him enough. 
 
I'm told there are those close to the program that are now starting to wonder if the NFL will come calling after the 2017 season even though Grier has two seasons of eligibility remaining. 
 
But, that’s something to worry about a few months down the road. For now, it seems as if West Virginia has found its quarterback. 
Add in the three outstanding running backs with Grier and you've got a heck of a foundation offensively. 
 
WVU finished seventh in the Big 12 in pass offense (average yards per game) last year and attempted the third fewest passes in the league. 
 
Given the stable of running backs West Virginia has returning, maybe those rankings don’t change much this year. But, if last Saturday was any indication, it appeared to me that West Virginia will have the ability to throw it as often as it wants to this season. 
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Will Grier going back to pass in the recent spring game, while Gary Jennigs is shown in the second photo hauling in the ball. Bottom picture shows Dana Holgorsen looking over the troops, including Grier, during the game. Photos by Ben Queen of www.benqueenphotography.com.


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