The Latest: Grier says he would never let teammates down
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the Senior Bowl (all times local):
Will Grier became a star quarterback at West Virginia, but knows NFL teams also want his take on what happened at Florida.
It’s something he’s addressing with them this week at the Senior Bowl.
Grier received a yearlong suspension in 2015 as a redshirt freshman for violating the NCAA’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He wound up leaving Florida and landing with the Mountaineers.
He says it “was an unfortunate thing that really hurt me. I poured my heart and soul into that program. I wanted to stay there. I poured my heart and soul into those teammates. I pride myself on outworking everybody, and it was really rough on me. I felt like I let my teammates down. ”
Grier says he has had “thousands of drug tests since then and never had another issue. It’s not who I am, and I would never let my teammates down in any circumstances again. That’s one of the things I learned.”
Grier is recovering from an ankle injury that led to him sitting out West Virginia’s bowl game. He predicts it will be “full go” in time for the combine.
Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden and San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan would much rather be preparing for the Super Bowl than coaching in Saturday’s Senior Bowl. But they’re hoping to benefit from a week of face time with the all-star game’s prospects.
Gruden says, “It is an advantage ... because the pool of players is what it is. Sometimes it’s a deeper pool, sometimes it’s not quite as deep. But you’re going to learn about 100 players and get some hands-on information that you couldn’t get if you weren’t coaching in the game.”
Gruden, who is leading the North team, coached in the Senior Bowl in 1999 for the Raiders and, for Tampa Bay, in 2005 and 2007. He coached Auburn tailback Carnell Williams in the 2005 game and wound up drafting him with the fifth overall pick.
Shanahan has twice been an assistant and now is the South’s head coach.
He agrees it’s a beneficial to be coaching, saying, “You get to be with these guys all week, see how they learn, how they get better from their first practice. “By the end of the week, we should have a very good feel for who they are as people.”
NFL scouts, coaches and prospects have gathered in Mobile, Alabama, for the Senior Bowl.
The game for top senior NFL prospects and junior graduates will feature quarterbacks like Missouri’s Drew Lock, West Virginia’s Will Grier and Duke’s Daniel Jones.
The North and South teams have weigh-in Tuesday morning, followed by media day and separate practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
They’ll have a week of practices and interviews with NFL teams trying to prove themselves on and off the field.
Last year’s group included No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield and No. 7 selection Josh Allen at quarterback.
Lesser-known players are also trying to enhance their first-round chances. That group includes prolific pass rushers like Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson and Old Dominion’s Oshane Ximines.