West Virginia quarterback Will Grier has been selected as the 2018 Senior CLASS Award winner for the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I FBS football coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: classroom, community, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. With the honor, Grier became the third West Virginia student-athlete to win the Senior CLASS Award following Jevon Carter, who took home the honor for men’s basketball last season, and Da’Sean Butler, who also won for men’s basketball in 2010.
“I strive to be passionate and motivated in all areas of my life, whether it’s being able to provide for my family, being a rock in the relationships that I have built with friends and family or just working hard and being an example to the community,” said Grier, who led the Mountaineers to a regular-season record of 8-3 and a spot in the Camping World Bowl. “Earning my degree from a great university, being able to play football at such a high level, with great teammates and for outstanding coaches and being able to give back to the great people of West Virginia has meant so much to me and my family. The whole experience has influenced me and will have lasting effects on me for the rest of my life.”
Finishing his career as the NCAA’s active career leader in passing yards per game (305.6), Grier earned a fourth-place finish for the Heisman Trophy this season after leading the Big 12 in passing touchdowns per game, passing yards per game and completions per game. He also finished as a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Manning Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors and a fourth-team All-America nod by Athlon Sports. Setting a number of school records in his career, Grier tossed 300 or more passing yards in 19 of his 22 career games and threw multiple touchdowns in 20, including four or more in nine games and five or more in five games.
Equally as impressive in the classroom, Grier graduated with a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies with disciplines in journalism, communications and sport and exercise psychology in December 2017 and is currently working toward a second bachelor’s degree in sociology. He also earned spots on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and WVU’s Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll in multiple semesters and has earned two dean’s list honors.
“I can’t think of a more deserving person for this award than Will Grier,” said West Virginia Director of Athletics Shane Lyons. “He is an outstanding son, brother, husband, father and person, and he certainly left his mark on the WVU community during his time in Morgantown. He was a great role model for our fans as a student-athlete, and the generosity he gave of his time helped brighten the day of many. We were very lucky when he decided to come to school at WVU, and he certainly left his mark as one of the greatest Mountaineers of all time on and off the field.”
Beyond the field and the classroom, Grier has earned a reputation for his character and maturity, serving as a positive role model for his teammates. Married with a young daughter, Grier balances spending time with his family with the responsibilities of being a collegiate student-athlete. Also finding it important to give back to the community, Grier is passionate about WVU Children’s Medicine and makes visits to the children’s hospital, knowing he can relate to the parents.
“Having a child has had a big impact on me, and the way I look at life and on my perspective,” said Grier. “Anytime you can affect a kid’s life in a positive way, that’s a great thing. I really enjoy spending time with these kids and trying to bring some sunshine into their day.”
In addition to his visits to the children’s hospital, Grier also has taken part in community outreach events including the Walk the Talk with Dana, the Mountaineer Day of Play (Mountaineers Get Moving) and the Football 101 for women event.
“Will Grier is a unique and inspiring student-athlete,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “His ability to excel in competition, maintain excellent academic standing, serve in the community and balance having a family has allowed him to be a positive force in college athletics. We’re proud to honor him with the Senior CLASS Award, and we offer our congratulations to Will, his family, his team and to West Virginia University.”
For more information, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Joe Dineen Jr., Kansas
Will Grier, West Virginia
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Dalton Risner, Kansas State
Christian Wilkins, Clemson