If you haven’t paid much attention to social media over the past couple of months, you have missed out on the hype train that is building around West Virginia. With nearly the entire offense returning, it is hard to not get excited about the 2018 season.
Media outlets such as Athlon Sports and NFL.com have bought into the hype, claiming that quarterback Will Grier is the nations premier quarterback.
Earlier in the week, NFL.com writer Chase Goodbread, released his 18 for 18 which lists the top 18 Heisman Trophy contenders for the upcoming season. Listed No.1? Will Grier.
Top 18 Heisman Trophy candidates for 2018
— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFLDraft) May 15, 2018
The Mountaineers have only had a total of six players finish in the Heisman voting, while Major Harris placed the highest (3rd) in 1989. The last Mountaineer to finish in the voting was wide receiver Tavon Austin, who placed 8th in 2012.
Grier has a short list of firsts that he can bring home to Mountaineer fans:
– Winning the Heisman Trophy
– Winning a Big 12 title
– A College Football Playoff appearance
– Winning a National Championship
– Being a Number one overall draft pick
While it may be difficult for him to sweep the board, he can still accomplish much of that list and completely change the direction of the football program.
Putting up video game-like numbers while winning games and being on the cusp of a playoff birth would be a huge boost in recruiting as well as fan interest. Aside from the two 10-win seasons in the Holgorsen era, much of the fan base would agree that the football program hasn’t been quite the same since the days of Pat White.
It may seem like a lot to achieve in just one year, but Grier has the talent around him to raise the national prestige of the program.
Let’s be honest, those 11 win seasons are certainly missed and the 7-8 win seasons are just not getting the job done. If you look at how the schedule sets up, it actually favors West Virginia more than what the ESPN FPI says.
The Mountaineers will get to host Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma. Three of those teams are typically near the top of the Big 12 standings, so having those teams at home helps.
It’s also important to mention that Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU will all boast a new starting quarterback in 2018.
Grier automatically becomes one of the leagues most experienced quarterbacks. With the schedule and inexperience at quarterback for other schools, this could be the year for West Virginia to breakthrough. If that happens, we will be looking back at 2018 as the year that started it all.
Grier can certainly change not only the perception of West Virginia football, but the expectations. Just imagine what winning a Heisman Trophy does for the program, or a Big 12 championship, or a playoff appearance.
Will doesn’t necessarily have to achieve them all, just one of those accomplishments could largely impact the program.
The NFL Draft just concluded about two weeks ago and many draft experts have already turned to 2019 projections, many of which have Grier as the top quarterback. According to Athlon Sports, Grier is college footballs top signal caller heading into the 2018 season, but can he also be the number one pick in next years draft? If that were to be the case, he would become the first Mountaineer to ever be selected with the number one overall pick.
Just a year ago, Baker Mayfield was projected as a 3rd round draft pick at best. In his senior campaign he won the Heisman Trophy, Big 12 Championship and made the College Football Playoff. He turned himself into the number one pick and moved up three rounds in one year.
Why can’t Grier do the same?
In a year where the expectations are high and the hype is starting to build, Will Grier has the opportunity to change West Virginia football forever.