(Photo courtesy of WVU Athletics)
Grier’s draft stock has never been higher, but football is hardly the only important thing in his life. As his faith and relationship with Jeanne have grown, it’s helped put a lot of things in perspective for him.
“Coming here I was much more of a put together man. I knew who I was. I knew who I wanted to be, which wasn't the case coming out of high school,” Grier said. “... Life is peaks and valleys - the only certainty is change and there’s only so much that you can control, so control the controllables. Control what you can control in life - your attitude, the way you look at your life with gratitude. The time you spend, where you spend it.”
Grier chose to spend most of his time at three places - the football facility, at home with his family, and the local hospital. Milan Puskar Stadium shares its parking lot with the hospital, so Grier began making frequent visits.
“Sometimes the kids are really young, and don't know who I am or don't care, but the parents do and it's just good to kind of spend some time with them. Being a parent myself (I can only) imagine going through something as tough as that, but going through hard times, I can try and understand and give them some sunshine in their day.”
Perhaps not all the kids know who Will Grier is, but that is definitely not the case for one special fan. Grier became close with a patient named Mason, and the two brought out the best in each other. Grier gave Mason an autographed jersey, while Mason gave Grier perspective and inspiration.
Had God let Grier flourish in Gainesville, he would have never come to West Virginia, where he is now the most famous player in a state with no professional sports team. Grier had to use his own perseverance to bounce back from the positive test, and now has the ability to show others what faith and resiliency can do.
“I'm using this platform God has given me and that is what it's all about. I think it would be a waste if I didn't do stuff like that because it really does have a huge impact on these kids that look up to us. Especially in this state for this program,” Grier said. “It's one of those things God has given me this great platform and it's my job to use (it).”
Grier has now thrown 28 touchdowns and just 7 interceptions this season, and if he keeps this up, there should be an invitation to New York City awaiting him in a few weeks.
It’s been a long and difficult route for Grier to get to this point in his life, but the journey, as he puts it, was never supposed to be easy. That’s what makes everything so rewarding now.