Florida redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier has asked for a release to transfer from the school. The news was first broken by Bob Redman of Scout's Fightin Gators, and later confirmed by Gator Country, Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun, Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, and, not more than an hour after the initial reports, by Florida itself.
Redman writes that Grier will likely have to sit out the entire 2016 season:
Florida will be allowed to denote any school in which Grier cannot transfer without having a two year penalty. Upon transfer to a school not on that list, he would then have to sit the entire year before being eligible as a junior in the 2017 season. The exception would be if he went to junior college or a lower division school, the latter of which he would have to sit out the half season disciplinary as well.
Miami Herald reporter Jesse Simonton also notes that Grier might be out of action at the Division I level until the middle of 2017.
Important note on Will Grier's transfer: If he goes to another D1 school his 6-game suspension is waiting for him AFTER he sits out a year.— Jesse Re Simonton (@JesseReSimonton) December 19, 2015
Redman also wrote an out into his report:
We will note that it is our understanding that Grier could still return, but that we believe it is highly unlikely at this point given all of the circumstances.
With Florida confirming the report, that doesn't seem likely to be necessary.
Grier led Florida to a 6-0 start before being suspended for a year after failing an NCAA drug test in October. An appeal of that failed drug test was denied by the NCAA in November, leaving Grier to serve out a suspension that would last into October 2016.
Florida coach Jim McElwain said earlier this week that Grier, who has been away from Florida's program and practice for much of the fall following his suspension, has been performing well academically, and would rejoin Florida on January 5.
While Redman's report certainly seemed shocking on its face — and attributes its information to a single source in the headline and sources in its lede, and misidentifies the day Grier's suspension was announced — I've heard enough about internal frustration with Grier to be less than fully surprised about a potential departure from Florida's program.
If Grier transfers, Florida's only returning quarterback with starting experience will likely be junior Treon Harris. Redshirt junior Luke Del Rio and incoming freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask — both early enrollees — could also compete with Harris for the starting job, and Florida might yet pursue graduate transfers with immediate eligibility to add to the mix.