Chad Greenway, WLB, JR (Mt. Vernon, South Dakota)
2004 VITALS: 6-4, 249
2001 VITALS: 6-4, 215
THE SKINNY: One of the more amazing success stories in recent Hawkeye history. Played nine-man football in high school, and was not highly recruited. He has said that were it not for an offer from Iowa, he probably would have walked on at Nebraska. Suffered a major knee injury in the spring of 2002, but played some in the 2002 regular season, including the Big Ten opener at Penn State, though not 100%. 2nd team All Big Ten linebacker in 2003 on both the media and coach's ballots.
THE PAST: HIGH SCHOOL BIO
High school honors: Three-time South Dakota all-state performer, earning first team honors as a junior and senior and third team honors as a sophomore . . . Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior . . . also Argus Leader and Sports Max Player of the Year . . . earned first team all-conference honors for three straight seasons . . . earned MVP honors and was team captain as a sophomore, junior, and senior . . .
Career: Played quarterback and free safety and returned punts and kickoffs, helping prep team win two consecutive state titles as a junior and senior . . . career totals include 364 rushing attempts for 3,118 yards . . . completed 171-290 passes for 2,572 yards . . . on defense recorded 407 tackles and 23 interceptions . . . as a senior completed 62-114 passes for 1,147 yards and rushed for 1,320 yards . . . 132 tackles and four interceptions as a senior . . . also lettered in basketball, baseball and track and field.
Personal: Born 1/12/83 . . . communication studies major . . . parents are Julie and Alan Greenway . . . high school coach was Myron Steffen.
HAWKEYE CAREER TO DATE: Redshirted in 2001, but earned the Team Leader award on defense. Injured his knee late in the spring of 2001 and had major reconstructive surgery. Returned in the team's fifth game at Penn State. Played in some games, but did not see ‘starter' minutes.
2003: 2nd on team in tackles. Third leading tackler in conference in tackles in league games, 2nd leading tackler in conference in all games. 2nd team all Big Ten linebacker as a sophomore.
Iowa fans were finally able to see in 2003 what the Iowa coaching staff knew at least a year earlier; Chad Greenway is flat out a football player.
Greenway had likely overtaken Kevin Worthy in the spring of 2002 as one of Iowa's starting linebackers, but his knee injury put that to a halt. When he arrived on campus as a true freshman, Iowa DC Norm Parker would tell anyone who would listen that Greenway was going to be something special.
And special he was in 2003.
Greenway covers the flats for the Hawkeyes unlike many players that have come before him. His mix of speed and size, and a tenacity that was rivaled by only Bob Sanders and Matt Roth on last year's defense has made him a fan favorite. He is one of Iowa's biggest hitters on a team that is stacked with them.
For fans worrying about losing Bob Sanders and the attitude he spread to the rest of the team, have no fear; Greenway, if no one else, will carry that banner.
He was a monster on special teams as well in 2003, continuing the Iowa tradition key players playing as often as they can to make the team as strong as it can be.
Greenway was also one of just three sophomore's elected to the team's Leadership Council for 2003.
SPRING 2004 STATUS: Greenway is easily the #1 at Iowa's ‘Will' LB position and barring injury, he should have another superb season. Four of the seven linebackers that were named to last year's first and second team all Big Ten team return next year: Iowa's Greenway and Abdul Hodge, Ohio State's AJ Hawk and Michigan's Pierre Woods. Woods will be a senior while the other three will be juniors.
Greenway will push for first team all league honors and perhaps national recognition in 2004, as will teammate Abdul Hodge.
It's always difficult to say things like ‘Player X might be the best ever at Iowa' as you are taking quite a leap and you do not know every player that ever played.
But to say that Iowa has never had as good a duo at linebacker as Greenway and Hodge might be right. Both of them are very fast and are fearless hitters, and both of them are also cerebral football players.
Greenway has made the art of open field tackling seem ordinary. He rarely misses his mark in the flats, and he typically will have a lot of ground to cover.
As was the a case with Bob Sanders, watching Greenway play defense is pure joy, and something that Iowa fans should not take for granted. He is a very special football player and his likes do not come along all that often.
THE FUTURE: NFL scouts and scouting services are already aware of Chad Greenway. I recently spoke with Lane Adkins, the NFL expert for The Insiders, and he mentioned Greenway and Hodge as two players that league execs are already talking about.
At 6-4, 240-pounds, Greenway separates himself from other players with his speed, quickness and agility. He has the makings of a sure fire NFL linebacker.
He has two more years to play, so making predictions on where he might go in the NFL draft are shaky at best. However, if he stays healthy the next two years at Iowa, the Hawkeyes are probably looking at another player from the program being selected on the first day of the NFL draft.
Let's just hope that is the 2006 NFL draft, because having Greenway and Hodge around in 2005 to anchor what should be another very good defense combined with a seasoned and strong offense has Hawkeye fans dreaming of a National Title run two years from now.