The trajectory of West Virginia’s 2017 season changed for the worst with 4:35 remaining in the Mountaineers matchup with the Texas Longhorns.
An attempted dive for the pylon ended with not only a Will Grier fumble just shy of the goal line, but the Mountaineers star gunslinger suffered a broken finger that sidelined him for the remainder of his junior campaign.
Consequently, a 7-3 record quickly slumped into 7-6 after West Virginia dropped each of its final three games in Grier’s absence, but fortunately for the Mountaineers, he’ll be back behind center as one of the top field generals in the Big 12, and possibly the nation in 2018.
Bearing that in mind, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach name Grier as one of the Big 12 players to watch entering spring football.
“He missed the final two games of the 2017 season because of a finger injury, and he goes into 2018 as perhaps the Big 12’s biggest star,” Schlabach said. “If Grier stays healthy, and West Virginia’s defense improves, the Mountaineers might be Big 12 title contenders.”
Save for Grier’s season ending injury, it’s quite possible that West Virginia’s 7-6 finish could have been a 9-4 mark. Now entering 2018, with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU each losing an abundance of offensive firepower, Grier will headliner a unit that may very well prove to be among the most dynamic in the nation.
If that proves true, the Mountaineers should have a substantial say in how the Big 12 plays out, and if they do, it will largely be thanks to Grier.
Grier finished his junior slate with 3,490 passing yards and 34 passing touchdowns to his name.
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