Even though he’s no longer a Florida Gator, former Florida quarterback Will Grier was a talking point at SEC Media days.
Grier, who was suspended by the NCAA last year after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, helped lead the Gators to a 6-0 start to the season. But the Gators struggled after Grier’s suspension, and lost their last three games of the season.
One of Grier’s former teammates, offensive tackle David Sharpe, spoke about how the team reacted to Grier’s suspension.
“Will, he was our dude, man. We were very disappointed,” Sharpe told reporters in Hoover, Ala. “We didn’t expect that at all, so it was very disappointing. Everybody was down about it for a little while. So I feel like that second part of the season, it had an effect.”
Grier would’ve had to sit out the first seven games of the 2016 season but instead chose to transfer to West Virginia. Sharpe and his teammates weren’t as surprised to see that.
“We expected it. Coach Mac didn’t want to deal with that type of thing,” Sharpe said. “He had to make a decision with him, and Will had to make his decision, too. Everybody loved him, but everything doesn’t go as planned.”
Sharpe was also asked if he felt Grier let the team down by getting suspended.
“In a way. He let us down little bit, but it is what it is, man,” Sharpe said.
Florida head coach Jim McElwain didn’t mention Grier at all in his opening press conference. The Gators haven’t named a starting quarterback for the 2016 season. Luke Del Rio, a transfer from Oregon State, and Austin Appleby, a transfer from Purdue, are competing for the job.
Florida’s first game of the 2016 season kicks off on Sept. 3 against Massachusetts.
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