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WVU’s Grier Big 12 offensive newcomer of year

Created on:   Fri, Dec 1, 2017   12:29 AM

Last modified:   Fri, Dec 1, 2017   12:28 AM

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MORGANTOWN — WVU quarterback Will Grier was named Big 12 Conference offensive newcomer of the year Nov. 30.

He’s the third WVU player to receive the honor, joining Justin Crawford (2016) and Charles Sims (2014).

The Big 12 announced its annual all-Big 12 teams and individual awards Nov. 30, as voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own players.

David Sills was a first-team honoree, while Yodny Cajuste (OL), Justin Crawford (RB), Gary Jennings Jr. (WR), Marcus Simms (KR/PR) and Kyzir White (DB) were named to the second team.

Earning honorable mention for the Mountaineers were Dravon Askew-Henry (DB), Al-Rasheed Benton (LB), Reese Donahue (DL), Grier (QB), David Long Jr (LB), Colton McKivitz (OL), Kenny Robinson (DB), Elijah Wellman (FB) and Ka’Raun White (WR).

Grier, who was named the league’s newcomer of the week five times, completed 250 of 388 passes for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns before sustaining a hand injury early in the Nov. 18 Texas game, missing the rest of that game and the Oklahoma finale.

He is nationally ranked in the top 10 in passing touchdowns (4), passing efficiency (8), total offense (9), passing yards (9) yards per pass attempt (9 and points responsible for (10)). He was ranked No. 12 in completions per game, passing yards per completion (18) and completion percentage (20).

Grier passed for 300 or more yards in nine games and had two or more touchdowns in 10 games.

Sills, a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, leads the nation with 18 touchdown catches. He has 60 catches for 980 yards. Jennings Jr. led WVU with 94 catches for 1,030 yards and a touchdown. He is first in the league in receptions and No. 5 in receiving yards.

Crawford is the third-leading rusher in the Big 12, with 1,060 yards and seven touchdowns, his second straight 1,000-yard rushing performance. Simms led the Big 12 in kickoff return yards, averaging 25.6 yards per return and averaged
6.6 yards per punt return.

Cajuste, who started all 12 games at tackle after missing the 2016 season due to injury, helped pave the way for the offense to rank No. 6 nationally in first down offense, No. 12 in passing offense, No. 15 in total offense and No. 21 in scoring offense.

White was WVU’s second-leading tackler on defense, with 81, including
59 solo stops, had a team-tying three interceptions, a team-leading two forced fumbles, four pass breakups and six tackles for loss.

WVU finished the regular season 7-5 overall, 5-4 in the league, tying for fourth place. The Mountaineers qualified for their 36th bowl. WVU learns its bowl destination Dec. 3.