Jim McElwain refuses to name Will Grier the Florida Gators’ starting quarterback

By Adam Silverstein
September 28, 2015

After completing one of the most exciting comebacks in program history, Florida Gators redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier was believed by many to be a no-brainer to be the team’s starter for the remainder of the season. Instead, with sophomore Treon Harris coming off suspension and head coach Jim McElwain not completely pleased with Grier’s performance, Florida’s quarterback competition will continue.

“We’ll see. We’ll see how it goes this week in practice,” McElwain said. “I thought Will did some real good things in the game but there’s some things he’s got to get better at, too.”

Good things in the game, such as two fourth-quarter touchdown drives – including three fourth-down conversions to aid the scores – that rallied the Gators back from a 13-point deficit to a one-point victory.

Despite that, McElwain said Grier did not solidify the job.

“Those two drives at the end were what he’s supposed to do. That’s what you do when you play the position, you know? We practice it that way; he executed it. There were a lot of drives there that weren’t executed. Got a long ways to go. And he knows it, too,” the coach said.

“He sees it on film and realizes how he can get better. There’s a certain expectation level that you need to have as a player and there’s a lot of plays he’ll want back. There are a lot of great plays he made. But that’s part of the maturation process of being a quarterback.”

No. 23 Florida will host No. 3 Ole Miss on Saturday at 7 p.m.


  1. G8trATL says:

    Adam, WHY do you think that is given what we have seen? I mean given the sample size from Harris last year and this year, and Grier this year, do you think this is a “game” Coach Mac is playing with the media?
    Also given what the couch has said about “Selfish acts”, why not name Will as the starter given the poor choice Harris must have made off the field?

    • Read the linked column that I wrote Sunday AM for that first answer.

      Yes, you’d think it would be a no-brainer.

      • senuod says:

        I think, given what we have seen from McElwain so far, that the coach is huge on making people work through his process before he annoints them as the starter or gives them playing time. IF Grier didn’t have that pretty amazing last 4 series, we as fans wouldn’t necessarily be complaining about a competition remaining “open”. “Open” because clearly Treon hasn’t displayed the responsibility to win the starter job AND Grier is starting to develop into what might be a really good QB. McElwain sees all of these things, but he seems to be big on not giving players ANY reason for complaceny. He doesn’t want these players to feel like they’ve figured it all out, because frankly we/they haven’t.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he never actually names Grier the starter. He’s going to want to keep Treon there to push Grier to succeed. To be honest, it seems like it’s working.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    sitting him on the bench and/or not giving him 1st string reps isn’t going to help improve his execution, and I honestly don’t see how anyone can really see Harris as a starter at this point without a complete collapse by Grier which doesn’t seem likely given his poise.

    Sounds a lot like a coach just wanting to not be specific about the plans. I can’t imagine he has much trust in Harris’ judgement at this point.

  3. 1974Gator says:

    If you want to know Mac’s thoughts on starters and injuries get your Ouija board out. If you want to bet if Grier starts against Ole Miss, I’m paying 100 – 1 if he doesn’t.

  4. Mike The Red says:

    I have an idea. Why don’t we let the best QB play?

    After Treon’s suspension, he definitely loss ground in my eyes. However, we still have alot of season in front of us. It would be foolish not to keep your options open.

    Back in the day, Spurrier would not hesitate to play two QBs.

  5. Razzlegator says:

    I agree with Ken. I think MacDaddy is hoping he can get Mississippi to waste time practicing how to defend Harris if/when he comes in.

  6. SW FL Joe says:

    I’m not so sure this has anything to do with the QB position per se. I think Mac is sending a message to the entire team that no position is nailed down. Everybody has a shot and just because you are named a starter one week doesn’t mean that you can slack off and still keep your job. And if your number 2, do the right things in practice, show improvement and you could be starting next week.

  7. HoneyBee says:

    Well said Joe!
    And I’m not quite sure why anyone would be considered a starter after what we saw these last games. Those touchdowns against Tennessee were runs…just like Mac said, Grier was just doing what a Qb is expected to do…nothing spectacular. We should be hearing from the running backs because that’s who won that game (and defense of course.) It’s sad how the fans are accepting mediocre play, the Gators deserve so much better. Smh

    • Michael Jones says:

      Woooaah there, Honeybee. I too agree with Joe but can’t take it as far as you’ve taken it. I think that Will Grier WAS pretty spectacular on more than one occasion and correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t his pass to Callahan the winning touchdown?

      He’s a redshirt freshman, for pete’s sakes, and pretty far from mediocre.

      • HoneyBee says:

        Jameis Winston was pretty spectacular as a redshirt freshman and is light years ahead of Grier. And again, he’s a redshirt so he’s had time to study the college game. You forget Treon was a True fresh, stepping on the field in a couple months from joining the team and won some big games for us. I would’ve thought Grier would be more developed by now. He’s still not ready and that frightens me.
        That pass was how many yards again? Like 15 maybe? I could’ve thrown that. Give credit where credit is due and that was all receiver and blocking from Powell. Time will tell if I’m wrong but I’m not buying the Grier hype just yet. Sorry!

  8. uf_84 says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with the QB competition still being open if not for the fact that one of the QBs in question cares more about getting high than he does Gator football. Come on Mac, enough with the games already. Sure Grier needs to get better so lets give him the reps in practice and coach him up to become the stud we all think he can be.

  9. G2 says:

    No matter what we will need both QB”s this year. If Grier is the unnamed “starter” for now still like to see Treon come in with some packages. Will needs work on his deep passing, seems to be off target most of the time 30-40+ range.

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