Carolina Panthers

Davidson Day’s Will Grier finds a unique balance as he prepares for NFL draft

Charlotte native Will Grier at the 2019 NFL Combine

Charlotte native Will Grier takes questions at the 2019 NFL Combine
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Charlotte native Will Grier takes questions at the 2019 NFL Combine

Will Grier believes he’s different from the other quarterback prospects in the 2019 NFL draft.

“I’m a very confident person. I feel that I’m the best quarterback in this draft,” Grier said Friday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “I would have felt that way if I came out last year. I’m very confident in my abilities.

“It’s not just about my tape, which is really good, and I think it’s the best tape that there is, but it’s also everything else that goes into playing quarterback. And I take pride in that.”

The Davidson Day alumnus is also distinctive in ways outside of football. He’s balancing quite a bit as he prepares for the draft this April.

He has a wife and a 2-year-old daughter to support as he trains.

“Obviously having a wife and a daughter is a huge responsibility,” he said. “I did it at the college level where (I treated football) like a profession. I acted like a pro when it came to football ... Then you also add the priority and responsibility of having a daughter, and having a wife that you are not only the provider for, but obviously I want to be a good husband and father.”

Grier said he takes pride in working hard for his family. During the pre-draft process, a four-month job interview for NFL hopefuls, Grier’s daughter gives him a little perspective, he says.

“I just want to be a dad to her, man,” he said. “I’m really grateful just for her being healthy and happy.”

Grier has been projected by NFL analysts as being selected anywhere from the end of the first round to the third or fourth.

He has a soft spot in his heart for his hometown Carolina Panthers, of whom he has been a lifelong fan.

“It’s crazy. I was there for the Wesley Walls days, Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith and those guys. I used to love watching those games,” he said.

Grier attended meetings with the Panthers’ staff this week. That might have been a little surreal.

“It’s almost hard to believe that I’m even in this position right now,” just growing up and watching those games and now I’m getting ready to meet with their GMs and coaches and stuff. It’s awesome. I’m very grateful to be in that position.”

Grier loves the idea of learning from Carolina’s franchise quarterback, Cam Newton, and the direction the Panthers’ offense is headed. Playing home games in a stadium just a few miles down the road from his hometown wouldn’t be so bad, either.

“I mean, it would obviously be unbelievable to go back home and be able to play for them,” he said.

“So being able to learn from a guy like Cam and just being in that offense, I mean, it’s a fun offense and they’ve got weapons everywhere. It would be a really cool thing.”

Jourdan has covered the Carolina Panthers as a beat writer since 2016, and froze during Pennsylvania winters as an award-winning Penn State football beat writer before that. A 2014 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, she’s on a never-ending quest for trick plays and the stories that give football fans goosebumps.

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