Davidson Day quarterback Will grier’s
stunning single-game Mark
By DaN Gu TTENPLaN
DaviDson DaY quaRTeRBack Will Grier burst onto the national stage as a junior when he threw for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns … in a single game.
You read that correctly. The 6-foot- 3, 190-pound
quarterback had a good month in a single day during a 104-80 victory over Harrells Christian in the
North Carolina Independent Schools Association
Division 2 state semifinal. It was just part of a storybook season and career for the quarterback who,
in the Harrells Christian game, broke the previous
national record for single-game passing yards of
764, set by Pacific Palisades’ David Koral in 2000.
Grier’s ascent to national prominence may
not come as a complete surprise to those who
have followed his career. His father and coach,
Chad Grier, played quarterback at East Carolina
and the university of Richmond in the 1980s.
He remembers his eldest son’s athleticism
blossoming at an early age.
“We have video of him playing basketball and
making 10-foot baskets at his third birthday
party,” Chad Grier said. “until I had another son,
I didn’t realize how absurdly unusual that is.”
Grier couldn’t get enough of sports grow-
ing up and he excelled on the football field,
basketball court and baseball field. Chad Grier
coached his son in football from a young age
with the intention of passing him along to an-
other coach at the high school level.
“The thing that set Will apart was he was pas-
sionate and driven to compete as a young kid,”
Chad Grier explained. “It was always, ‘Dad, play
catch with me. Shoot baskets with me.’ It was
all about ball.”
To this day, Grier still has a photo of his son
dunking a basketball over another player during
a game at the age of 15.
“It’s my favorite picture of him,” Chad Grier
said. “He’s dunking and the rim is halfway up
his forearm. At that point, I realized he was
blessed with unique athleticism and talent.”
When it came time to send Will to high
school, his parents, who are divorced, agreed
that education must come first when selecting
a school. They agreed on Davidson Day, which
didn’t have a football program at the time.
“It was the first time my wife and I agreed
in 10 years,” Chad Grier recalled. “They didn’t
have a football program, but there was a surge
to start one. I helped with that process and af-
ter another coach fell through, they offered me
the job. I said, ‘It’s not going to happen. I have a
job that pays the bills for three kids.’”
Grier eventually agreed to coach for one
season, a commitment that has already been
surpassed by two seasons. In Davidson Day’s
first year of football, the squad competed at the
junior varsity level with a team of 22 players,
posting an undefeated season. The team has
won the Independent Schools Division 2 state
championship each of the last two seasons.
“It’s extremely important for a football program
to have a leader,” Will Grier noted. “We’ve won a
lot of games since I’ve been here and I think part
of that is my competitive factor. Even when we
were a JV team, I played safety and ran the ball
when I needed to. Whatever it took to win.”
Last season as a junior, Grier completed 324
of 414 passes ( 78 percent) for 5,785 yards,
69 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also
rushed for 813 yards and eight touchdowns.
During the team’s playoff run, which included the
record-setting performance, he completed 83 of
103 passes for 1,749 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He also rushed for 111 yards and three scores.
Grier was a 2012 AP All-State selection.
“I think I was blessed with a lot of athleticism,”
Grier said. “I have a strong arm and I’ve gotten
really good coaching. The thing that sets me apart
is I’m fiercely competitive. usually when I play bas-
ketball with my two brothers [ages 15 and 12], it’s
too competitive. I call it brotherly love.”
Grier accepted a scholarship offer from the
university of Florida at the end of his junior sea-
son. The Gators will be getting a well-rounded
student-athlete. Grier maintains a 3. 7 GPA and
he volunteers as a youth football and basket-
ball instructor, as well as at an area retirement
facility through his church.
“Every success he has is fuel for him,” Chad
Grier said. “He works harder. As a coach and
dad, I felt like I owed it to him to get out in front
of the college search. When he threw for Florida, they offered him a chance to win national
championships and the seed was planted.
That’s why he felt so comfortable.”
Even after making his college commitment,
Grier continued to attend recruiting showcases
across the country. In April, he was named quar-
terback MVP at the VTo Elite 100 camp, earning
an invitation to the NFL Prep 100 event in Balti-
more later this year. He was also quarterback
MVP at the Nike Camp in North Carolina in March.
“I think I need to improve in every area,” Grier
said. “You’re never good enough. The thing I
need to improve the most is using my athleti-
cism to its full ability. I need to get in the weight
room and get more size. The most important
thing is my health. I need to stay healthy and
FoLLo W uS oN TWIT TER @FnFMag
FRiDa Y nigh T Foo TBaLL noRTh caRoLina 2013