COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- In matching Terps Under Armour gear (the sharpest we've seen from a Terrapin player this fall), both color coordinated and the polo shirt buttoned to the tippy-top (plus not a hair out of place), Terps junior kicker Adam Greene looked the picture of perfection as he often does.
The top student athlete on the team with a 3.9 GPA just as well, Greene always looks poised and in control, be it on the field or off. His teammates laud him for both his academics and his sartorial splendor.
Ever a perfectionist, Greene enjoyed mostly a strong day in the opener versus Howard last weekend as the D.J. Durkin era began with a lopsided win.
"It thought it was a great day. Went 7-for-7 on extra points, and had a 37-yarder (field goal). And it's always good to start off the season that way," Greene said. "The kickoffs were a little tricky with that wind on Saturday....but I thought I did well, placed the balls where they needed to be. I thought I did my job."
Greene, who is taking over for former Lou Groza Award winner Brad Craddock as the Terps starting place-kicker this fall, thought he enjoyed good hang-time on his kickoffs, too, but still wants a little more distance on his kickoffs. There was a bit of a swirling wind, but Durkin agreed this week at media sessions.
"We would like to have Adam to be more consistent with ball placement and hang-time," Durkin said of one of his favorite Terps. "I thought he had some good ones, and some that weren't so good. He knows he can perform better. He's been consistent throughout camp. It's nothing that we're concerned about or addressing. He did a great job hitting a field goal and some extra points. We feel great about Adam."
Greene says he feels comfortable within 54 yards with his field goal range. And he does everything he can, be it physical or mental, to always be prepared.
Greene lifts twice a week and performs yoga the two nights before games, his usual routine, And he does a a P-90X DVD workout for an hour-and-a-half as well.
"It's a way to get my body in check, get my flexibility down, my hips moving right," Greene said. "And it gets a center for myself when I am out on game days. It's not all the crowd there, it's just is another day of practice for me out there when I am like that."
Greene has been training and getting pointers with Matt Stover ever since he was 12 years-old. As a child he had two two stress fractures in his L-5 lumbar spine. He said Stover got him on yoga and he has been doing it ever since.
He said it's all about strength of leg, durability and flexibility. Greene said that he is in touch once a month or so with Stover during the off-season as he keeps up his game.
"He has always stressed relaxing and trusting yourself. Because now as a redshirt junior you have kicked thousands of balls by now. So now you trust what you have done. So your steps, same swing, same doing the same thing."
Greene also loves his new kicking mate, Aussie Wade Lees, the Terps 28-year old freshman starting punter.
"It's fantastic to have that. He's such a weapon for us with the multiple styles of kicking that he has....rugby style and pro style. And the best thing is he gets better and better each week, and I know he will be big for us," Greene said.
Greene also loves the "honesty" of new special teams coach Pete Lembo, who he took to quickly in the off-season when the new staff arrived.
"You have a guy you can go to with a great relationship where you are pretty much family the way he relates to us and speaks to us, and the comfort level that we have with him," Greene said. "But when it comes to kicking, you also have that accountability with him, too. But he is the nicest, most down-to-earth guy you will meet."
Fittingly, as always looking for an edge or advice, Greene hung out with former Terps kicker Craddock after the season opener last week. Craddock came back to campus for a visit while awaiting a pro call this month. Greene had dinner with the family, and then caught some of the college games back at his apartment with Craddock. Of the tips he has imparted on his protege over the years, Greene said:
"Making sure your mind is right, and how you trust your kicks," he said of Craddock's nuggets. "Believe in yourself, don't get caught up in everything that's going on, trust what you did in the off-season,
"And he always had a poster in his locker room and it said, 'Go Slow and Kick the Crap Out of it.' So whenever I talk to him him, it's just 'go slow, go slow,' because when you get to pressure-filled moments, road games, and you get a little antsy and all of a sudden your steps are 1-2-3 instead of 1..2..3. He always comes back and reminds me of that."
Greene said he also enjoys going on the road, against another crowd and noise, as the Terps will be tomorrow night in Miami against FIU in Game Two.
"As being put into these adverse situations and seeing how you respond to it is what it is all about," Greene said.