COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A little more than four months ago, Maryland walk-on freshman kicker Adam Greene had one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. After being selected by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) as one of five winners of the 2013 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards last October, the Annapolis, Md., native had the opportunity to see the historic Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan before taking in the NFF's College Hall of Fame.
"It was an absolutely amazing experience," said Greene, who held a weighted 4.52 GPA at Broadneck High and was a five-time Carson Scholar winner thanks to his academic prowess and community service work. "What happens is in high school you start off in your chapter and I was part of the Baltimore chapter. Then you work your way up through the state and then the national level. They take into account academics, community service and on-field performance in order to really pinpoint the scholar-athletes and reward them.
"So out of around 30,000 or so people, I was one of five selected. So I got to go up to the Waldorf-Astoria, go to the college hall of fame, give a speech and everything. It's something I'll never forget."
Now, Greene will attempt to make his football career just as memorable. A redshirt last season who showed flashes but didn't consistently display the power and accuracy that made him a two-time all-state performer at Broadneck, Greene has made significant strides this spring.
Boasting a big right foot and improved precision, the 5-foot-11, 185 pounder has drilled numerous long field goals in March and early April. During the March 28 scrimmage at North Point High School, Greene nailed all three of his attempts, including one from 46 yards out.
"I felt that I've come in strong and have really improved since last year in the fall," said Greene, who hit a Maryland state record 27 field goals during his high school career. "Just the whole learning process, coming back, getting strong and getting to the level I want to be at in the future … I'm feeling very good about it all. It's all coming together for me."
Greene called his first season in College Park, Md., a "process" and admitted it took some time to get adjusted to college life, the practice schedule and what was expected of him. His goal was to get a little better each day, and while he accomplished that initially, he hit some road bumps along the way.
Namely, Greene suffered an injury before the Terps-Florida State bout last Oct. 5.
"I strained a quad during practice, and I was out for awhile and was never really 100 percent the rest of the way," Greene said. "But I stayed positive, worked to get back and now here I am. It's all about bouncing back, improving and being the best you can be."
After the 2013 campaign concluded, Greene spent the winter months honing his technique and improving his fundamentals so he could compete for the starting job with incumbent Brad Craddock this spring. Greene had worked with former Baltimore Ravens great Matt Stover during past offseasons, but this year he felt he had a grasp on what needed to be done. By himself, Greene trekked over to the practice field and went through timing drills, leg-swing drills and the like.
"My main focus was getting my natural swing back," Greene said. "And I feel I was able to do that."
Randy Edsall has seen an evident performance uptick this spring. The Terps' headman said Greene has shown more consistency and power compared to last year.
"I'm seeing the ball come off his foot like it did in high school. Last year, for whatever reason, I didn't see the pop of the ball coming off his foot. But now that seems to be there," Edsall said. "And it's good, because now you have some competition there forcing Brad [Craddock] to be consistent, and he's getting better.
"But there's some little things with Adam we're working on to make sure he maintains that consistency. Because that one field goal [during the March 28 scrimmage] wouldn't have been good on a college goal post… But I like how he's coming along, and he's making the progress you want a freshman to make."
Greene may be putting the pressure on Craddock, but don't think for a second it's a heated competition. The Annapolis native said the Australian booter is his best friend and they both feed off one another.
"We're great, great friends. I've known him for little while -- I worked with him back at Matt's [Stover] camp in July before my senior year at Broadneck -- and he's one of the best friends I have, and it's good to have that," said Greene, who mentioned the coaching staff hasn't indicated when or if he'd be placed on scholarship. "You never want to have tension or conflict between players, and to be able to be close to someone and have that bond, it just helps us both all around.
"Brad's an incredible kicker too. We work together each and every day to try to make each other better kickers. And if we can both do that the rest of the spring and into the fall, our special teams unit will be fantastic. Our special teams unit as a whole is an incredible group of guys, and the bond we all have brings the best out in us."
Naturally, Greene is still hoping to earn the starting job, or at least see time as a kickoff specialist or come in for long field goals. But as of right now, Greene said he "honestly has no idea" what his role will be come next fall.
"All I can do is go out, compete and do the best I can," Greene said. "And if I do that, it will make us that much better."
Greene Has a Leg Up this Spring
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