GAINESVILLE, Fla. — News of quarterback Will Grier’s transfer from Florida caught many by surprise, including UF coach Jim McElwain.
Grier met with McElwain two weeks ago and expressed no intentions of wanting to leave the program. But this past Friday, following his final exams, Grier came back to McElwain with a change of heart.
“He came in and asked for a release,” McElwain said, confirming that it was Grier’s decision. “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. In life, sometimes change of scenery is good. In this case, he’s going to go have a successful career and go on to play in the NFL. We’ll help him in every way we can.”
When asked about Grier having any transfer restrictions, McElwain said, “I’m not real fired up about seeing him in the SEC, but we signed (off on) a bunch … every school that he brought up. We’re here to support him.
“I just, we anticipated him being here. Obviously the choice was made to go somewhere else.”
Where Grier will end up remains to be seen. He still has six games to serve on his year-long suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug, which would follow him to any NCAA institution (FBS or FCS) he transfers to.
Grier could also go to a junior college or NAIA school and play immediately because he would not be under the jurisdiction of the NCAA. However, the rest of his suspension would be awaiting him if and when he transfers to another NCAA-member school.
McElwain, who at the time of the suspension said his quarterback made “an honest mistake”, is sympathetic to Grier’s situation.
“Let’s not forget all the things that he’s been through,” McElwain said of Grier. “We wish him nothing but the best moving forward. It was hard.”