BYU exceeding Green's expectations

For incoming freshman leaving home and heading off to college, the next chapter of their lives is often filled with uncertainty and apprehension as they step out into a brand new world. Such was the case for Washington quarterback Billy Green, but BYU's football program has helped ease some of those transition anxieties.

When Billy Green was growing up back home in Woodway, Washington, his world was familiar and comfortable. Then came the day when he had to leave home and enter into the world of college far away as a student athlete.

"I honestly didn't really know what to expect when I came down here to BYU," said Green. "I just remember it was an uncertain time for me because I didn't really know what to expect."

He did, however, get to meet some guys on the team during a recruiting visit. That gave him some comfort, although it was only a snapshot of a much larger but uncertain picture.

"Even when I was down here on that week when everyone was on their official visits, most of the guys on the team introduced themselves," said Green. "It was an easy transition after that because I met a lot of guys that were just like me that really helped me to feel at home. The guys on the team helped with a lot of that transition from being back home to living away as a college student athlete. I really didn't know what to expect, and so to have others around you just be so welcoming was nice."

Given that Green isn't LDS, it's easy to understand how there might have been some apprehension towards coming to BYU. However, his teammates made him feel at home.

"When I came down here I didn't really know what to expect, being non-LDS," Green said. "You know, I wouldn't know what to expect at any college, but when I got down here I was with Jamaal Williams and he really welcomed me and made me feel at home. Also, guys like Jake Ziolkowski, Jherremya Leuta-Doyere, and Theodore King [did as well]. We have a great group and they're kind of like my family away from home. It's been great."

BYU's football program emphasizes building bonds between teammates. The team is a family, or band of brothers, where the very nature of the players and program becomes a support system. Green found this aspect of BYU's football program to be very comforting.

"It's kind of like a family within a family," Green said. "Then at the same time the program has been very supportive and the guys on the team have been great. There's been no hazing or anything like that, which you kind of expect when you're a freshman. It's kind of cool because you see movies and TV shows of freshmen coming in and it's like, 'Oh man, I don't know what's going to happen.' But it's been great here. The guys here are awesome."

Since that first day of stepping onto campus and being welcomed into the football program, Green has grown as a young man. He often reflects upon something Coach Mendenhall promised him long ago.

"When I was sitting in Coach Mendenhall's office, before I committed, he told me that BYU wasn't only going to better you as a football player but better you as a person," recalled Green. "He told me that I would grow and become something more than just a football player."

Green enrolled at BYU prior to spring camp, so he hasn't officially been on campus for a year quite yet, but Mendenhall's words have already rang true.

"I found that to be completely true," Green said. "I've grown in my faith and have been going to church every week. Also, having all these older guys on the team be just great influences. At other schools there's going to be all these temptations of partying and that kind of stuff, but the guys here have really set a good example for me on and off the field."

Pleased and now more at home, Green has loved his BYU experience so far.

"It's exceeded my expectations," Green said. "I mean, I knew coming down here you could find stuff if you wanted to, but that's not what I'm all about. Coming here, like I said, I've grown in my faith and I've bettered myself as a person. Being at BYU has definitely exceeded my expectations in pretty much every way. It's been awesome being down here and I'm happy that I have the opportunity to be here."

Welcome to BYU, Billy Green.

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