(Photo courtesy of WVU Athletics)
When Will met Jeanne, it didn’t take him long to realize she was special.
He might have been the quarterback at Florida and she might have been a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleader, but this wasn’t some cliche relationship. They had been introduced by mutual friends at UF, and shortly after they met, Grier could tell that her priorities were in the right places. Jeanne wasn’t as concerned about money or other people’s opinion as she was about being a good person. Will was the same way.
And for the first several weeks of their relationship, everything seemed to be smooth sailing. Through the first six games of the 2015 season, Grier had thrown 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His quarterback rating was over 145, and his future looked bright.
Then the news hit, and as a result, Grier was suspended for the rest of the season. Jeanne had every option of leaving at that point, but she chose to stay, and now three years later, she and Will are married.
“It solidified a lot of things in my mind. One, that I was with the right person, and it’s a testimony to her as a person for people who don't know her,” Grier said. “If I would have quit playing football, she would have been by my side the whole way. She makes me a better person and I learn a lot from her.”
Will isn’t just a husband anymore. He’s a father now too. In November of 2016, Will and Jeanne welcomed Eloise Grier into the world. Now Eloise is turning 2, while Grier is balancing football and parenting at the same time.
“Having a baby has made me a better person. Raising her in a Christian household is awesome,” Grier said. “My wife is on her own spiritual journey. We're young parents, and it's not always easy, but we've learned a lot and been able to actually come closer together through this journey.”
Just like Jeanne never left Will’s side, neither did God. He knew that Will was going to go face all that adversity before he ever picked up a football, and just because God let Will go through all that struggle, that didn’t mean He stopped caring about him. Will took the adversity in stride, and never turned his back on God. At times he questioned why it was happening, but he never gave up on God’s plan for him.
Grier realized that a change of scenery might be good, and after his freshman year was over, he decided to transfer to West Virginia. He had to sit out in 2016 due to transfer rules, and was ready to make up for lost time at that point, but then it was rumored that he might have to sit out another half season once the 2017 campaign started. The theory was that because players already have to sit out a year to transfer, and Grier had missed the final half of his freshman season at Florida, his punishment hadn’t been sufficient.
Grier appealed to play in the season opener, but there was no certainty about what what would happen. If he did have to sit out the first six games, Grier wouldn’t have seen game action in 24 months. Nevertheless, WVU coach Dana Holgorsen stuck with him anyway. It was becoming clear that Holgorsen shared a loyalty that Grier had seen in Jeanne.
“He's awesome. He's part of one of those signs to go here, because I'm big on family and loyalty and respect,” Grier said. “...When that news was breaking, Dana was here and said whether you have to sit out six games or not, we'll take you and I think that just showed that he cared for me as a person and saw potential in me. (He) was going to take me regardless of if I had to sit out another six games or not, and that's a testament to who he is as a person in giving me another chance.”
It turned out to be a smart decision on Holgorsen’s part, because from the moment Grier set foot on campus, he has been phenomenal. But of all the amazing plays he has made since his arrival, none were bigger than the final two he made Saturday at Texas.