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CFB notebook: West Virginia QB Grier to sit out bowl game

Sports Xchange
09 Dec 2018, 10:45 GMT+10

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier will skip the Mountaineers' bowl game against Syracuse.

Grier revealed his decision in a statement Saturday morning, explaining that he is bypassing the bowl game in order to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Although a number of high-profile college players also are skipping bowl games for the season reason, Grier is the first quarterback to go that route. Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins, a Heisman Trophy finalist, said he will be in the Rose Bowl.

Grier, who guided West Virginia to an 8-3 overall mark and 6-3 record in the Big 12 during his senior season, received the backing of Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen for his decision to skip the matchup versus Syracuse.

A finalist for a number of high-profile awards, Grier threw for 3,864 yards and 37 touchdowns against only eight interceptions. He led the Big 12 with an average of 351.3 yards per game.

The NCAA's active leader with in passing yards per game (305.6), Grier had 71 touchdown passes in two seasons at West Virginia after transferring from Florida. He set a school record with 19 300-yard games.

-- Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is unsure of his plans for next season. However, the Heisman Trophy finalist is certain of one thing -- he will be under center when the Buckeyes square off against Pac-12 Conference champion Washington in the Rose Bowl.

A number of top college players have opted to skip their team's bowl games in order to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft. Haskins won't be among them.

"Just being a quarterback, it's your job to lead the team," Haskins told The Athletic. "And for you to say you don't want to play, you're not about the team or winning or losing. You just want to get out while you can. There was no doubt in my mind about playing in the game because I know I can help this team win."

Haskins was in New York City on Saturday night along with fellow quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama and Kyler Murray of Oklahoma for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Haskins leads the country with a Big Ten-record 47 touchdowns and 4,580 yards.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Haskins has not said whether he plans to enter the NFL Draft, but he continued to boost his stock for the next level in the final three games.

-- Utah State could be turning back to a familiar face in its search for a new coach. Gary Andersen, who was the head coach at the school from 2009 to 2012, could be returning to the Aggies as a replacement for Matt Wells, multiple media outlets reported.

Wells, who succeeded Andersen as head coach at Utah State, was named the new head coach at Texas Tech on Nov. 30. Andersen, who moved onto head coaching jobs at Wisconsin and Oregon State after Utah State, currently is the associate head coach and defensive line assistant at Utah.

Andersen was 26-24 in four seasons with the Aggies, including an 11-2 mark in his final year in 2012. He also led Utah State to its first bowl win since 1993.

Andersen went 19-7 in two seasons at Wisconsin before heading to Oregon State, where he abruptly decided to leave the school midway through his third season in October 2017.

For his career, Andersen has a 52-54 record as an FBS head coach at Utah State, Wisconsin and Oregon State.

-- Ryan Day, who will succeed Urban Meyer as Ohio State's coach after this season, made his first official staff position move on Saturday by removing the interim tag for wide receivers coach Brian Hartline.

Hartline, 32, will be the permanent wide receivers coach for the Buckeyes, who are playing in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 against Washington.

Hartline joined the Buckeyes as a quality control coach with the wide receivers in 2017. He became interim wide receivers coach after former receivers coach Zach Smith was dismissed this summer in July following allegations of domestic abuse.

Hartline played at Ohio State from 2006 to 2008 and spent seven seasons in the NFL. He was a fourth-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2009 and spent six years with Miami before playing his final season with the Cleveland Browns in 2015.

-- Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley may not be done for the season after all.

Huntley, who broke a collarbone on Nov. 3, was a full participant in Friday's practice and could be available for Utah's matchup against Northwestern in the Holiday Bowl on New Year's Eve.

Huntley was able to throw during Friday's non-contact practice but he still must receive medical clearance to return to the lineup.

Utah rebounded from a loss at Arizona State with three straight victories behind backup quarterback Jason Shelley, including Pac-12 wins over Oregon and Colorado, before falling to Washington 10-3 in the conference championship game.

Huntley completed 150 of 234 passes for 1,788 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions this season for the Utes. He completed 7 of 15 passes for 88 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against Arizona State.

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