Standing amidst NFL Hall of Famers and former Parade All Americans on Friday at the annual NFL Hall of Fame banquet in New York City, Florida quarterback signee Will Grier was recognized publicly for the first time Friday–as the 50th Parade Player of the Year.
Grier posed for photos and soaked up the atmosphere. It was a nice break from classes at the University of Florida where he’s already enrolled. He of course had Florida coach Will Muschamp’s full blessing to travel to the banquet.
Will posed Friday with his father and coach Chad (far left, upper right shot) and Gators and NFL Hall of Famers Jack Youngblood and Emmitt Smith (photos courtesy Chad Grier).
He is the third straight SEC player to be named Parade Player of the Year. Missouri’s Dorial Green-Beckham was picked in 2011-12 and Alabama’s Derrick Henry was picked in 2012-13.
“It’s such an honor and a blessing, and it just happened to land on the 50th team,” Grier told Saturday Down South. “A lot of big names have won this and done this. It’s crazy, such an honor to see some of those names on the past teams—that kind of fraternity. It motivates you. I’ll look back in 25 years and say “how cool”. I mean, how cool is it that Dan Marino is a part of it? And all those big name guys who have made it. It’s a cool fraternity to be a part of.”
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Other SEC-bound players to make the first team were: Leonard Fournette (LSU), Trey Quinn (LSU), Josh Malone (Tennessee), Cameron Robinson (Alabama), Ross Pierschbacher (Alabama), Rod Taylor (Ole Miss), Devin Voorhies (LSU), Myles Garrett (Texas A&M), Da’Shawn Hand (Alabama), Christian Miller (Alabama), Tony Brown (Alabama) and Cole Hedlund (Arkansas).
The team issue of Parade Magazine will be in local newspapers this weekend.
In his career, Grier threw for 195 touchdowns, including 77 his senior year, and averaged 383 passing yards a game. He also rushed for 1,200 yards and 13 touchdowns. He finished with 14,559 career passing yards while leading his team, the Patriots, to three straight state championships (he threw 10 touchdowns in one game in 2012).