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AP Photo/Raymond Thompson

2018 Heisman Candidate Countdown #13: Will Grier

After missing the entire 2016 season after a PED suspension, former Florida quarterback Will Grier had an excellent first season at West Virginia. Heading into his final college season, he’s seen as one of the best players in the country and a potential first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. Here’s the 2018 Heisman Trophy countdown to this point:


#25: Jalen Hurts

#24: Adrian Martinez

#23: Travis Etienne

#22: Shane Buechele

#21: Nick Fitzgerald

#20: Rodney Anderson

#19: Justice Hill

#18: A.J. Brown

#17: Damien Harris

#16: Drew Lock

#15: McKenzie Milton

#14: Khalil Tate


With Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph gone, Will Grier is now arguably the clear top quarterback in the Big 12. He’ll be pushing for a conference title and a Heisman Trophy in 2018.


Why he can win it

To win the Heisman, your team typically needs to have a successful season. The opportunity is there for Dana Holgorson’s squad to have their best season in the Big 12 since joining the conference in 2012, and Grier will be leading the way on offense. Grier was close to putting up Heisman-worthy numbers in 2017, as he threw for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns in just 11 games, and that was coming off a year of not being able to play football because of his suspension and transfer. The Mountaineers have a strong supporting cast for Grier, including future potential first-round wide receiver David Sills, so the pieces are there to have a sensational year. And it doesn’t hurt to play in the Big 12, where defense can be downright bad at times.


Why he won’t win it

There’s a chance the Heisman voters don’t like that Grier was suspended for PEDs, and they might knock him for that as they cast their ballots. Because West Virginia isn’t a traditional powerhouse, they are probably going to need to win the Big 12 for Grier to get strong consideration for the Heisman. Also, while Big 12 defenses could lead to some huge days, Heisman voters might not want to give the award to a second straight quarterback from the conference if the subpar defense remains difficult to watch.


What needs to happen

Grier needs to build on his good first season in West Virginia by emerging as the top quarterback in the nation and a sought-after NFL draft prospect, which will help his hype. The Mountaineers must win the Big 12 or come very close with double-digit wins.


Stat projection

260/400 (65%) | 4,225 PASS YDS | 39 PASS TD | 11 INT

65 CAR | 136 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 2.1 AVG


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