Thursday, December 27, 2012

Khaseem the dream

He gets his name from his mother. He gets his athletic ability from his father. Put them together and you get Khaseem Greene, who has been a big star for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights the last two seasons, after a position switch from S to LB. I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Greene, who will be playing his final game in a Rutgers uniform when the 9-3 Scarlet Knights take on Virginia Tech (6-6) less than 48 hours from now in the Russell Athletic Bowl at Orlando (Friday, Dec. 28 at 5:30 PM ET on  ESPN). You won't have any trouble finding him. He'll likely be the only player on the field with dreads, and he'll likely be the player making most of the tackles for Rutgers.

The thing the strikes me the most about Greene is that he seems to be just as good a person off the field as he is a player on it. In several articles I've seen about him almost all of the reader comments following the article were positive. Khaseem certainly hasn't had an easy road in life, but all of his hard work is about to pay off in a big way, as he is expected to be a 2nd day (or maybe even 1st day!) selection in the 2013 NFL draft.

I couldn't find that perfect one article to include with this feature on Greene. But if you have a few minutes, the three links below are to articles I think you'll find interesting. The first is to a New York Times article from early in the season describing how Greene has come back better than ever after recovering from a serious ankle injury suffered in Rutgers' bowl game last year. The second is from the Newark Star Ledger and is a story mostly about Khaseeem's father's first chance to see his son play (after being released from prison on parole) but also includes details of other family members, including Ray Graham, a star RB for the Pittsburgh Panthers. And the third is a piece from the SportsNet New York website about Greene's successful defense of his Big East defensive player of the year crown and how happy he is that he doesn't have to share the award this season.
As you should already know, the Big East finished in a 4-way tie for 1st place this season. But of the four teams sharing the championship, Rutgers was the team the least satisfied. The Knights had to settle for a tie after losing to Louisville in the final game of the regular season - on Greene's senior night no less. After the 20-17 defeat, Greene had every reason to be bitterly disappointed. But in his post-game interview (link below) he does a good job of hiding that disappointment, instead focusing on the positive during his time with the Knights.

Bowl games are meant for seniors to close out their careers with a win. Hopefully Greene can add one more victory to cap off his terrific college career - before he moves on to the next level.

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