Duke’s Kurt Roper was officially announced as Florida’s new offensive coordinator Thursday.
On a conference call, the 2013 Broyles Award finalist said he didn’t know much about UF’s personnel other than Jeff Driskel.
However, Roper is also familiar with another quarterback who will arrive in Gainesville a few days after he does.
Florida commit Will Grier of Davidson (N.C.) Day has crossed paths with Roper on a handful of occasions.
Grier threw for Roper at one of his practices and spent some one-on-one time with him during a spring visit to Duke.
But their first meetings came on the gridiron.
Grier attended Duke’s summer camp as a freshman and sophomore.
At both sessions, he was coached by Roper in speed and agility drills, positional training and 7-on-7 competition.
“They have a pretty intense camp,” said Grier’s father and high school coach, Chad. “It’s a full-day deal, and they work them. So Will got that experience with him, and it certainly went well. He was very impressed with him.”
Grier said his son, an Army All-American who enrolls early at UF on Jan. 6, has remained fully committed to the Gators despite the change at offensive coordinator and is looking forward to Roper being his position coach.
“From Will’s perspective, he was committed to the school and football program regardless of who it was,” the elder Grier said. “He felt like he was versatile enough to fit whatever system came in. But coach Muschamp believes he got the right guy.
“Coach Roper has a great reputation for developing quarterbacks. Certainly his experience with Eli Manning is well documented. He’s not a one-trick pony. He’s done multiple things based on the talent he had.
“Will’s got a very high opinion of coach Roper, his track record and what he’s done at Duke and everywhere else. We’re excited to have him in place at Florida, and Will is ready to go to work.”
Coach Roper is a great fit. I will learn a lot from him and Chris Leak. It is an amazing opportunity to play for such a great staff. #Gators
— Will Grier (@willgrier_) December 27, 2013