Players Need to Follow Will Grier’s Lead


“Will Grier has played his final college game. West Virginia announced Saturday that Grier will sit out of West Virginia’s bowl game against Syracuse to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft.
“Will and I spoke at length about the bowl game, and I am fully supportive of his decision to begin preparing for the NFL Draft,” Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said. “While we will miss him in Orlando, Will’s commitment and service to WVU Football over the last three years will be talked about for many years to come.”

(Via https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/west-virginia-quarterback-will-grier-to-sit-out-bowl-game-prepare-for-nfl-draft/)

Will Grier has been criticized for skipping out on his bowl game against Syracuse but it is the right move. In what has started to become more popular in the last few years has been met with some serious push back from the traditional types. 

15 years ago I could understand the case against skipping your bowl game. Some teams didn’t get on television much and rarely got the chance to be seen by scouts and NFL executives. Today is totally different however as almost every game is on some platform.

recruiting is also better then ever as talent is more spread out and players can go to any team, anywhere in the country and be found. The MAC has put some players into the NFL by getting drafted in the first round. Khalil Mack played in one bowl game in his Buffalo Career and lost. It was the Idaho Potato Bowl against San Diego State and the Bulls were blown out. What good comes from that?

  The Players Owe The School Argument

This is another argument I hear constantly and can’t stand. At the end of the day, the NCAA is a business and the school’s have their best interest in mind. So why can’t players think about themselves and their future?

The players are not paid and they will be replaced the second someone better comes in. Loyalty does exist in college football but to believe a team won’t toss a player aside when a better option comes along is laughable.

These players have to stay in school three years and put their bodies on the line while the schools get rich off them. I can go down the line but I’ll focus on one player.

Jaylon Smith

Smith was a linebacker for Notre Dame and currently plays for the Cowboys, luckily. The five star recruit was projected by some to be the number one overall pick in the NFL draft. While playing in the Fiesta Bowl, Smith injured his knee and almost derailed his career. He fell in the draft and there were rumors of nerve damage that could end his career. Thankfully he was drafted by the Cowboys who sat on him for a year to let him heal and return to form. But that story could have gone differently and Smith could have lost his future for the Fiesta Bowl.

Looking Forward

This is going to start becoming more common and people need to start thinking about the players. Will Grier playing against Syracuse for one last game won’t help his draft stock. If he lights Syracuse up and puts up Big 12 numbers, would anyone change their opinion?

If Grier were to fall flat, he would slide and hurt himself in the NFL. That doesn’t even consider the injury aspect of it all. Grier came into West Virginia and made them relevant and exciting again. He gave the school everything for a few years and a meaningless bowl game against Syracuse doesn’t change that.

Players that decide to play in bowl games are great. I want to watch my favorite team put out the best players on the field weekly. On the flip side, if they decide to walk away to pursue their NFL career, who am I to judge? You’re asking 22 year olds to gamble millions of dollars for the Boca Raton Bowl when most would make the same decision.

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