Terps Kicker Adam Greene Moving on Up

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Maryland kicker Adam Greene is set to assume UMD's kicking duties after the graduation of Lou Groza Award winner Brad Craddock.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Terps junior kicker Adam Greene is moving up in the world these days.

Not only has he eased smoothly into the starting place-kicking job for graduated senior and former Lou Groza Award winner Brad Craddock; not only is his 3.96 GPA leading the football team this spring; but he's also moved up in "style," too. 

On Easter weekend, given, ahem, he has a new apartment on Terrapin Row, he traded in his former mode of transportation, his mother's mini-van, for a sporty new turbo Hyundai Veloster, a gift from his parents over the holiday weekend.

"Hey, I could rock that thing," he joked of the old mini-van. "But hey, it was time....time to move on from mom's mini-van."

Well, the fair-haired Greene is moving on indeed, and trying to fill the shoes of one of the Terps greatest -- and most popular -- place-kickers of all time. It is a challenge he welcomes this spring as the go-to guy now on a unit that has been critical to the Terps fortunes in recent years, 

"I really see this as a giant opportunity," Greene said this week after practice in Maryland Stadium. "There's one way you can see it as a challenge, because he was the guy who won the Lou Groza. But how amazing that I get to have that opportunity to be on that level, to work my way to get better, so I can fill them [his shoes] in. 

"So that's what I do every day, it's just a way to get better. And being under him for the past three years I always saw the way to be. And having that model, having a role model like him, let's me know where I need to be every single day so when I come out here I can be the best that I can be."

Greene said "trusting in yourself" was the biggest thing Craddock, who remains his roommate this spring while preparing for the NFL Draft, taught him. Both have worked with former Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover in the off-seasons and over breaks, including Greene since he was 12 years-old.

"We came here for a reason, and it's coming out and trusting in yourself," Greene said of the lessons learned from both kickers. "Each day you want to have a purpose for coming out to kick. Because it is very easy to get in the habit of coming out, putting the ball down, kicking it through the uprights, kicking it through the uprights. And when you do that you start developing bad habits. So really emphasizing having a focus each and every day, and coming in watching the film afterwards."

Greene, who is busy getting his Masters degree in Finance for a future in possible corporate finance or risk management, feels comfortable with his field goal range to 56 yards. Last season he was 3-for-5 with a long of 44 yards. His said his height is up on his kicks as well, and his main technical focus this spring was his steps and alignment.

Greene is putting most of his kickoffs inside the 5 yard-line. Looking at film, he said he observed that he was inconsistent with the way he was lining up. 

"So I am hitting the ball a little bit better," he said of the change. "But it might hurt my distance initially this spring, but in the long run it made me definitely more consistent."

Greene has equally as strong a leg as Craddock, and better leg whip/explosion. Now it's just a matter of continuing to fine-tune all the mental aspects of being the starter.

"And that mental approach, now its one that really matters," Greene said. "I thought it mattered before, but now it really does. 

"So I have been watching film with the coaching staff. I will be in there for an hour or and hour and a half, and it's really just to trying to perfect my craft so when I come out here I am just as confident as I can be when I got out there."

His teammates pick up on all of his pluses as well, including some of the guys on defensive side of the ball. It's hard not to notice.

"He, honestly in my opinion, has the most poise of any guy of anyone on the team," said junior outside linebacker Jesse Aniebonam. "He is a very poised character. Very collected, very organized. I mean, he wears dress shirts every day after practice like when he is going to class even normal. He's a very mature person, and I enjoy talking to Adam. And I am excited to see him to step into the role especially after the departure of Brad Craddock."

As for his other kicking mate, and roommate as well, 28-year old punter Wade Lees, well he has never seen a kicker boot with both legs like the latest Terps Aussie can.

"Not to that level," Greene said of the both legs angle. "Brad [Craddock] did it a little back in the day, but Wade has it going for him. He is a huge weapon that we have now."

Greene said that he will work with Stover more this spring/summer, maybe twice a month, as he prepares for his junior season. He also has Craddock whispering in his ear as one of his roomies, all the while gunning for a late-round pickup in the coming NFL Draft.

"Brad had a great day [at Terps Pro Day last month]," Greene said. "And he showed me his film, we watched it together, and he was really, rally good. I am excited for him"

As for that dream job beyond football, Greene is equally on point discussing his plans.

"My dream job would be working on Wall Street in either investment banking or stock trading," he said.

But Greene clearly has a lot of football left to go. His family has taken in all of his Saturday scrimmages this spring, and so far so good. Especially the automotive upgrade.

Added teammate Aniebonam:

"The transition that I have seen form last season to this season, I can tell he has been working on his craft and perfecting it," he said. "He gives a lot of effort, and I know it is something that is very important to him. And that is why I am excited to see what he is able to do this season." 

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