For the first time in his Clemson career, Malcolm Greene is healthy.
“I have never felt like this at Clemson,” the defensive back said recently in a post-practice interview. “I am really excited to be back out there with the guys healthy and ready to go.”
Greene played in seven games last year before a second groin injury required surgery. He suffered through sports hernia injuries on his right and left side and an abductor muscle tear last season. In 2021, he played in ten games, as he also missed time due to injuries.
Though he played in all 12 games his freshman season, he spent part of 2020 banged up as well.
Now that he is a little older and wiser, Greene is taking care of his body better these days. He is taking the necessary steps to stay on the field. He visits the team’s recovery center, known as Clemson Applied Science Lab (CASL), every day.
CASL gives players the opportunity to improve performance and physically recover, while using any and all modern technologies available. He also visits the training room to make sure the little injures that can hang around are also out of the way.
“I have been in the CASL every day, all day,” he said. “I am in there taking care of my body with infrared light, hyperbaric oxygen chambers and a lot of things. I have been in the training room a lot more, also. Well, I have been in there a lot in the past years, but (I’ve been in) everyday, twice a day to make sure that I am strong in all the weak areas – my shoulders, groin, ankles, knees, everything that could give me little nicks and bruises.”
Because he is not having to deal with any nicks and bruises, Greene has been bouncing around this spring and making plays. With Sheridan Jones sitting out, the senior has spent much of his practice time at cornerback, while also playing some at nickel.
“This is the year I have been waiting for,” Greene said. “I want to go out there healthy and ready to go. I have God on my side, and I have me on my side and that is all I need. I feel like with the preparation I have been having in the off-season and having on the field this spring, this year is definitely the year I have been waiting for.”
Greene’s plan is to leave Clemson with the Jim Thorpe Award, which goes to the nation’s best defensive back. No Clemson player has won the Thorpe Award.
Of course, before he wins the Thorpe Award, Greene will first have to beat out Jones for the starting job opposite Nate Wiggins this August, as well as Jeadyn Lukus, Myles Oliver and Toriano Pride. He will also have to beat out freshmen Shelton Lewis, Branden Strozier and Avieon Terrell.
“We definitely have some good guys,” Greene said. “I feel like my guys are definitely second to none to anybody in the country. We have a very competitive room, but (corner) is the position I plan on playing.”
Greene feels he is the man for the job because he is very confident and is a playmaker. When he has stayed on the field, his numbers back up his claim.
In the 29 games he has played in, he has recorded 40 tackles, including 4.5 behind the line of scrimmage. One and a half of those tackles for loss came via sacks. He also has two interceptions and forced a fumble.
“I am very aggressive. I love to tackle. I am very easy at getting off blocks,” Greene said. “I can get up in your face. I am very good at playing the deep ball. I am just competitive. I love to compete. I love the game. There is not much to it. I love to make big plays.”
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