Greene Has Unlikely Success Story
TAMPA - Shonn Greene knows he's not the first person to overcome adversity, but the Iowa junior running back can understand why people find his story intriguing. After all, it's not every year that the recipient of the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back, spent the season prior out of football and carrying couches just to make rent. But that's Greene's story. While Iowa struggled to a 6-6 season in 2007 and missed out on a bowl game, Greene was nowhere near the field. In fact, he wasn't even at the University of Iowa because he'd lost his scholarship. Academic woes had sidetracked his collegiate career and forced him to enroll at an Iowa City community college to get things in order. And without the luxury of paid room and board, Greene sought work at a local furniture store to make ends meet.Greene ultimately persevered through it all and learned one valuable trait about himself in the process. "I learned that I'm not an easy quitter," Greene said. What Greene hasn't quit doing since returning to Iowa is torching opposing defenses, something he hopes to continue when the Hawkeyes face South Carolina in Thursday's Outback Bowl. Greene is the only Division I running back to rush for more than 100 yards in each game this season. He set a program single-season record with 1,729 rushing yards and tied the single-season mark with 17 touchdowns. He also has garnered numerous accolades, including multiple first-team All-American honors and being named the Big Ten Conference's Offensive Player of the Year along with receiving the Doak Walker Award. "He had to fight his way back, and that determination that he showed off the field I think has really come on to the field," Iowa center Rob Bruggeman said. There's no question Greene has made good on his second chance, and he believes that fork in the road last year subsequently led him down the path to his current success story. "Everything happens for a reason," Greene said.
Reporter Adam Adkins can be reached at (813) 259-7616.