Two former WVU football players made NFL practice squads today in quarterback Will Grier and wide receiver Tavon Austin. Grier has been resigned to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad after being cut by the team yesterday while Austin resigned with the Buffalo Bills practice squad after being cut by the team a week ago.
Grier had been battling with Cooper Rush for the back-up quarterback position this preseason and there was genuine belief that Grier had won that battle. He led Dallas on more scoring drives than Rush this preseason despite playing in one less game and saw the most playing time out of their quarterbacks in the final preseason game against Seattle this past Friday.
Yet, Dallas decided to cut both Grier and Rush, who was their back-up quarterback last season. Dallas signed both to their practice squad, but currently have starter Dak Prescott as the only quarterback on their 53-man roster. It’s likely that Dallas wasn’t impressed enough by either to warrant using a roster spot on them, and will try to bring in a veteran back-up via free agency.
As for Austin, he is trying to resurrect what has been a disappointing career for the former No. 8 overall pick. Originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams, Austin put up strong numbers being used as a wide receiver/running back hybrid his first three seasons but a change in offensive scheme when the team hired current head coach Sean McVay led to a disappointing 2017 season.
He was then traded to Dallas the following season, but has only started three games since leaving St. Louis. All three of those games came last year with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he caught 24 passes for 213 yards.
Both are among the best to ever play for WVU, with Austin having been named to the school’s Hall of Fame this past year. He has 4,446 scrimmage yards over his four year career and holds the school record for career receptions with 288 and career receiving yards with 3,413.
For Grier, after transferring from Florida, he started two seasons at quarterback for WVU and threw for a combined total of 7,354 yards and 71 touchdowns. He was a key part of their 2017 team that won 10 games and finished ranked No. 18 in the country, the best season that WVU has had since joining the Big 12.