ATHENS — Georgia football remains a contender for the services of Earnest Greene, the No. 1 offensive lineman in the state of California.
Greene told DawgNation last week he remains in contact UGA offensive graduate assistant Eddie Gordon and still plans to spit a five-day trip down South between Alabama and Georgia after his June 16 visit to Ohio State.
“Ohio State has recruited me since my freshman year,” Greene said. “They always had an interest in me …. preached to me I’m a special priority for them, and they believed in my skill set.”
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For now, Greene, a 6-foot-5, 330-pounder at SoCal powerhouse St. John Bosco, is taking it all in. Clearly a student of the game, Greene doesn’t seem to be one for rash decisions.
Indeed, Greene’s rationale on the COVID recruiting break, transfer rules and pending NIL legislation reveal him to have great insight beyond his young age.
As much as Greene said he would have liked to have visited with college coaches in person this past year, he also sees the glass half-full.
“I would say it’s a blessing in disguise,” Greene said, “because that gave coaches more time to watch my film.”
Seeing is believing, as just last week Greene’s tremendous upper-body strength and leg drive were obvious on the Bosco campus in non-football, medicine ball drill work.
St. John Bosco High School has produced several Division I players and prospects, including Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei and offensive line prospect Earnest Greene.
Greene is also a player who values commitment and loyalty, two things Georgia football is looking for as it aims to maintain its tradition of producing NFL picks on the offensive line.
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Kirby Smart’s past two teams have sent five offensive linemen into the NFL draft, two in the first round.
“I respect a guy a little bit more that will stay with a program and fight it out,” Greene said, asked his thoughts on NCAA transfers. “But in certain scenarios, you could understand it. But other than that, I believe in staying.”
The Bulldogs have a unique draw to Greene in that his father’s side of the family remains in Savannah, a few hours down the road from Athens.
The Greene family has had Thanksgivings in Georgia, making it a special trip for Earnest, with memories that go back into his childhood.
Georgia is where his father was born raised and played his college football at Savannah State before moving on to the NFL where he was part of the Chargers 1994 Super Bowl team as well as being in the Steelers and Eagles organizations.
Sometime between June 23 and June 27 of this month, Greene will be on the UGA campus to take a look around and learn if it might have the right feel for him.
Greene is rated as the No. 2 interior lineman in the nation by the 247Sports composite, and No. 59 player in the country overall.
But Georgia offered him as an offensive tackle, not that Greene would come in assuming anything.
“I know Coach Gordon and Coach Luke told me they are recruiting me at tackle,” Greene said. “But they said they’d want to put the best guys on the field, so whatever order that would be.”
The NIL matter has also come up, and many players are already working on how they will brand themselves for monetary profit once allowed to use their name, image or likeness for endorsement.
Greene hasn’t put much thought to it yet, as more of his focus is on finding the right fit at the next level and leading St. John Bosco to another national title.
“It’s team first,” Greene said. “The recruiting is cool, but you can only go to one school, anyway. Coach (Jason) Negro put in me that we’re a brotherhood.”
The big deal at St. John Bosco is to beat Mater Dei, the Braves’ chief competition in the Trinity League and the producer of current Georgia quarterback JT Daniels and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young.
Bosco, of course, is where Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei won a high school national title with Greene in 2018.
“It’s the best rivalry in high school football, hands down,” Greene said of the St. John Bosco-Mater Dei clash, a sentiment backed up by the fact that the two schools own a share of the last four national high school championships. “We battle with them every year. We play them two times (most) years, in our league and the playoffs.”
The Trinity League has been rated by MaxPreps as the top high school football league in the country.
It’s one more indicator that Greene would be comfortable and well-equipped to handle the SEC’s ferocious rivalries and weekly competition should he find Georgia or Alabama to his liking on his visits later this month.