- South Carolina linebacker Sherrod Greene has been in the program for six years
- He earned a medical redshirt season and one granted to players due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Greene was presented with the team’s “Overcoming Adversity” award
There are plenty of rationales available to college football players who want a change of scenery.
The transfer portal has made it easy to jump from one program to the other.
Many players who get their degrees with eligibility left decide to play elsewhere as a graduate transfer.
Some who have had bad luck with injuries think going to another program might change their fortunes.
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South Carolina linebacker Sherrod Greene would have availed himself of any of those options. He also could have opted out of Friday’s TspanxSlspanyer Gspantor Bowl against Notre Dame at TIAA Bank Field (3:30 p.m., ESPN) and gotten a head start on his planned training for the NFL draft.
Forget about it. On Wednesday at Episcopal High School, Greene was going through another two-hour practice with his teammates to get ready for the Irish … and there’s nowhere he would have rather been.
“It’s a brotherhood,” he said. “Why would I leave that for something else?”
Greene lost most of two seasons to injury
In an era of college football where loyalty seems to have gotten lost in the shuffle, Greene, a Rocky Mount, N.C., native, is a throwback — even as more than a dozen of his teammates entered the portal or opted out of playing in the bowl game since the Gamecocks finished the regular season with victories over top-10 opponents Tennessee and Clemson.
Greene will complete his sixth season with South Carolina on Friday, having received a medical redshirt for an ankle injury that limited him to three games last season, and another year awarded to undergraduates who played during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 — a season in which Greene played only one game because of a hip injury.
Greene could have transferred at any point in the past three years. He could have transferred after earning his degree in Criminal Justice in May of 2021. He could have quit after each of the injuries that limited him to a combined four games in 2020 and 2021.
And he also could be in South Florida to begin training for the NFL Combine — his plan as soon as he takes care of unfinished business against the Irish. After all, Greene has only been able to play in one of the four bowl games for which the Gamecocks have qualified since he arrived on campus in 2017.
“It’s a brotherhood. Why would I leave that for something else?” South Carolina linebacker Sherrod Greene said on why he has remained with the Gamecocks for six years.
“I’m trying not to think of it as my last game but I’m just excited to have one more game to play in,” he said. “I’m going to give it my all and hopefully we’ll come out with a W.”
Green (6 feet 1, 233 pounds) is second in tackles for the Gamecocks with 65 (he missed the opening game) and has 2.5 for losses and one interception.
He’s a fast, sideline-to-sideline player who has held down both inside linebacker positions for the Gamecocks since he was recruited and played for Will Muschamp but is much more than speed and quickness.
Teammate Stone Blanton, who is the second-team middle linebacker, said Greene is as much cerebral and he is physical.
“He’s one of the best instinctive linebackers I’ve ever played with or seen,” Blanton said. “He’s got a great football mind.”
Teammates respect Greene’s loyalty
And what of his dedication to the South Carolina program, of staying in Columbia when others were quick to transfer?
“He’s one of those dogs who will back you up for anything, anytime,” Blanton said. “He’s going to be be there for you and we’re going to be there for him. He’s loyal to this program. You really respect that in a guy. I look up to him a lot.”
Greene said he wanted to play at South Carolina since he was a high school junior and after he made a campus visit, he knew it for certain.
“I’ve really loved South Carolina,” he said. “I knew I wanted to come here from the jump. It felt like home to me. Everyone made me feel comfortable.”
Greene admitted that after his ankle injury in 2021, which came against Georgia, he was considering transferring.
“I talked to family and friends and people who supported me, and they all said to take my time and think before I made a decision,” he said. “It came down to the fact that I love playing here. I want to be around these guys as much as a I can, for as long as I can.”
Greene has 60 more minutes. Bet the ranch that he’ll make it count.
He’s been doing it for six years.