Saturday, April 20, 2024

Virginia WR Andre Greene Jr. To Play For His Home State And What It Means

Is former UNC receiver Andre Greene Jr. coming home to UVA? The Virginia football coaches did no waste time. The Cavaliers knew they needed to add a few wide receivers to the roster from the portal and when word got out that Andre Greene Jr. was going to enter the portal, the ‘Hoos acted.

“When we had an opportunity, once he entered the portal, to now move [on him]- first thing we went down there… I think we went to a Canes,” recounted Virginia head coach Tony Elliott. “We had a little bit of lunch and then he had to go to class, and then we worked hard to get his family up here on a visit.”

Elliott made the trek to Chapel Hill, N.C. within hours of Greene Jr. officially entering the portal.

“That meant a lot,” said Greene about Elliott and Virginia reaching out so quickly. “I was coming off a rough season in North Carolina, and that they were still vocal about wanting me, and they came to see me the first day. And that meant the world to me to know that I was a priority for them.”

Virginia is set to lose over 1,000 yards receiving after Malik Washington’s eligibility ended, so Greene Jr. will be one transfer that could see playing time this fall.

“He is fast, big guy that gives us the ability to stretch the field vertically,” said Elliott. “And then also we’re balanced this out kind of on the outside.”

Greene played high school football at St. Christopher’s High School in Richmond, Va. before choosing to sign with North Carolina out of high school. He made three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown as a freshman, and he had two catches for 17 yards this past season.

“I went through a lot of adversity through injuries,” he said about last season with UNC. “And like I said, it was it was a it was a rough year for me…. I grew closer to my Lord Jesus Christ, and he just helped me persevere.”

Greene Jr. saw plenty of interest in the portal. In addition to visiting Virginia, he also visited Penn State on an official visit. Nittany Lions wide receivers coach Marques Hagans, coached at Virginia previously, and recruited the wide out during high school.

UVA was the pick in the end.

“Just just the family atmosphere and the vibe I got from UVA,” he said about why he chose the ‘Hoos. “Being Virginia guy that meant the world to me to be able to have a chance for my family to be [at my games]. And I went home last weekend, so that was just great.”

“Just excited that he had interest in us,” added Elliott. “He’s a guy that was very high profile coming out of high school and had a lot of opportunities – and had a lot of opportunities in the portal as well. But I think one key thing for him was he wanted to be closer to home – and obviously I wasn’t here during his first recruitment, so I’m not sure you know how involved UVA was with him in his first first go round – but he’s an outstanding young man, great student, very conscientious. He is excited for an opportunity to come and perform and produce, and now we just got to go through the process of getting them integrated into the program.”

Greene said he reached out to not only Washington, but he also reached out to Malachi Fields, who he had a relationship with previously.

“Not just [seeing] Malik Washington’s [success], but even Malachi Fields – seeing how they use both of them.. seeing the offensive mind and the tactics to get those great guys the ball. I wanted to be a part of the offense like that,” he said. “I got a chance to reach out to him [Fields] a couple of times just to see how the receiver coach was.. he just said that it’s going to be fair here and work hard. And our receiver coach is a great, great guy on and off the field.”

“I wouldn’t say an easy recruitment, but it was pretty smooth,” said Elliott. “He knew what he was looking for, which was was helpful to us because he wanted an academic environment and an opportunity to compete, and he felt like we had a situation that was best for him.”

Playing in his home state and the pride of playing in Virginia was certainly in Greene’s mind during his recruitment.

“Just being a Virginia guy and seeing what Coach Elliott is doing with this program, I just wanted to be a part of that,” he said. “You have to win the state. I feel like we have a lot of talent in Virginia, and I feel like bringing some of those guys, keeping some of those guys home, I feel like it will be the blueprint in winning a lot of more games.”

Greene is currently working with coaches and other receivers in learning the playbook, preparing for spring ball.

“It’s going great,” he said. “I’m excited to learn more about it.”

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