Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jets get even 'Greene'-er

The New York Jets signed their third-round pick, former Iowa running back Shonn Greene on Monday.

Greene is someone that I had the pleasure of witnessing live last season, from the friendly confines of Iowa City’s Kinnick Stadium’s press box. Greene tore up Wisconsin, rushing for 220 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries (Mike Ackerstein wrote the gamer, but I wrote the creative headline Sunday night for Monday’s print) en route to a 38-16 romping of the feeble Badgers – their fourth straight loss at the time.

But Greene’s numbers (1,850 yards, 20 touchdowns in 2008, his junior season) are only half as impressive as his story. Greene failed out of school in 2007, forced to move furniture at a store down the street from Kinnick Stadium to stay afloat financially. To make a long story midget-sized, he made the most of his second chance, leading the Big Ten in rushing, and landing with the Jets in April’s draft.

When I saw the Jets landed both Mark Sanchez and Shonn Greene in the first three rounds, I remember nodding my head from Krakow, Poland. “Well done,” I thought. Greene has the speed, strength and tackle-shedding abilities to be a successful NFL running back. I hate the Jets, but I’m a fan of Greene. I enjoy comeback stories, kids who taste the real world before signing for millions. I think that experience will serve him well for what his NFL future has in store for him.

He’ll make the Pro Bowl some day, too. And remember, you heard that here first.

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