Back in the fall, I was telling anyone that would listen that Milford Prep running back Shonn Greene would have the biggest impact on the 2005 Iowa Hawkeyes as any member of the Class of 2005 recruiting class, as long as he qualified to get into Iowa for the spring semester.
That did not happen.
However, Iowa received some good news on Friday when the Hawkeye coaches learned that Greene had passed his SAT exam and would be eligible to join the program this summer.
"He got news of the test score on Friday," said Milford Prep coach Bill Chaplick. "He was very excited when we called him and told him that he had gotten the score."
If you want to be reminded as to why Greene is such an important piece of Iowa's puzzle, here are a few numbers for you.
40 Time: 4.5 seconds
2004 Totals: 1,367 yards/185 carries/17TD
It bears repeating that Greene accomplished those statistics playing against junior varsity college teams like Navy (he had 167 yards on 15 carries in less than two quarters against them, before leaving with injuries) and against junior college competition. Chaplick told us in November that Greene played in about half of the available quarters during their 12 game season, which makes his numbers even more impressive.
As Greene was trying to qualify this winter, the Iowa staff never wavered in their belief in Greene or their desire to see him wear a Hawkeye uniform.
"I have been dealing with Iowa's coaching staff for a long time and they are class guys. They are some of the best in college football and I have never seen them desert a kid. Shonn was true to them and they were true to Shonn, and everything worked out in the end." Chaplick said.
"Both sides were with each other during this entire process."
Greene would have obviously benefited from being able to be on Iowa's campus during the spring semester and spring football drills, something Chaplick acknowledges. However, he still feels that Greene is going to get his nose in the mix of Iowa's running back competition this summer and fall.
"It definitely would have helped if he would have been there in the spring, but he is not a high school kid anymore; he has played against a full college JV schedule here at Milford. He has a personal trainer, so his family has kept him in shape with that. He will be ready to go; he is not the kind of guy that slacks." Chaplick said.
"He is not sitting around the house waiting to go to college; he has been working hard since the end of the season. He prepares himself on a weekly basis to play at the 1-A level."
Chaplick told us in November that Greene is one of the best running backs that he has coached at Milford Prep.
"I have been blessed to have had nine 1-A running backs, and Shonn Greene and Fredd Russell are the bar; Shonn is right there with Fred."
We also asked Chaplick back in November to tell us who Greene reminds him of.
"I don't know. He has a little bit of everything. He can definitely get to the corner and he can definitely run the sideline; he has done that all year here. And he can DEFINITELY run right over you." Chaplick said. "He is bigger than Fred. When Fred was here, he was 175 or 180 pounds. Shonn is 215. That is a big difference. That is a man running out there."
Smith told a local paper in early February that he intended to go to Iowa in January of 2006, after completing one year at Milford Prep. Smith is at Milford right now.
"He is a great player. We are in winter workouts right now, and he is as good an athlete as you can find. We are going to be playing him at outside linebacker and free safety. Iowa is looking at him as an outside linebacker or free safety, too. It's all going to depend on what he shows them when he gets there, but this kid is something else."