Greene thankful for his UI experience

Oct. 23, 2010

Iowa Football Photos (Friday, Oct. 22) | Video interview with S. Greene

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A collective sigh of relief was certainly exhaled sometime during the week in Madison, Wis. After all, on this football trip to Kinnick Stadium, the Badgers would not have to worry about University of Iowa running back Shonn Greene.

On Wisconsin’s most recent voyage to Iowa City in 2008, Greene carried the ball 25 times for 217 yards and four touchdowns and the Hawkeyes won easily, 38-16. Although Greene, now a star in the NFL, will not play today, he will be in attendance as Iowa’s honorary captain. Greene addressed the team following its final walk-through Friday inside the Kenyon Football Practice Facility.

“This is great. I get to come back and see some old friends and it’s good to see the coaches and vibe with the team,” Greene said. “It was a great experience for me here and I miss it.”

Greene won the 2008 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate running back. He holds Iowa records with rushing yards (1,850) and rushing touchdowns (20) in a season. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the third round in 2009.

“Everything I go through I try to make it a learning experience,” Greene said. “I try to learn from the mistakes I’ve made and correct them down the road. I did that when I was here and I’ll continue doing that.”

In 20 career NFL games, Greene has carried the ball 179 times for 863 yards and three touchdowns. This season the Jets are currently leading the AFC East with a 5-1 record. The 5-foot-11, 226-pound Greene has rushed 71 times for 323 yards and a touchdown. His most productive game came Oct. 3 at Buffalo when he ran for 117 yards on 22 attempts during a 38-14 victory.

Greene’s signature game as a professional came in the AFC playoff semifinals on Jan. 17, 2010 at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. He rushed 23 times for 128 yards and his 53-yard fourth-quarter touchdown burst clinched the upset victory for New York, 17-14, over the Chargers.

One of his many signature games as a Hawkeye was against Wisconsin two years ago.

“After my last touchdown I remember running off the field near the end of the game,” Greene said. “Everybody was smiling and everybody was happy. It was a good team win.”

Greene had glowing remarks about UI head coach Kirk Ferentz and what playing for the Hawkeyes meant to him.

“The thing I got out of it was discipline,” he said. “The coaches around here instill discipline — not only in football, but throughout life. That’s a key component and I’m glad for that.”