For a list of the other Gatorade State Football POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Will Grier
School: Davidson Day School (Davidson, N.C.)
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, Grier led the Patriots (12-1) to a third consecutive North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship this past season. He threw for 4,989 yards and 77 touchdowns on 314-of-446 passing (70.4 percent). A U.S. Army Player of the Year finalist, he also rushed for 1,252 yards and 13 touchdowns on 115 carries. In a 69-28, NCISAA Division II title-clinching win over Harrells (N.C.) Christian Academy, Grier completed 32 of 42 attempts for 599 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. In his three-year career, he threw for 14,559 yards and 195 touchdowns on 888-of-1,258 passing (70.5 percent) while rushing for 2,990 yards and 32 touchdowns on 307 carries.
Academic excellence: Grier has maintained a 3.40 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s Spanish Club, he has also donated his time as a youth football instructor and volunteered on behalf of a youth literacy-outreach program as well as the Pop Warner Challenger Flag Football League.
“Let me make one blanket statement that will cover everything: In chatting with all the coaches around here, we all feel he’s the best high school quarterback any one of us has ever gone against—period—and I’ve been doing this since 1970,” said Larry McNulty, head coach at rival Charlotte (N.C.) Latin School. “If you try to stop the passing game, he’ll pull it down and run right past you, over you or through you. And if you defend the run, he’ll throw around you and over you."
THE FUTURE: Grier has verbally committed to Florida.