And this time around, he his Big East honor with nobody.
"It feels different than last year," Greene said. "It's just flat out mine. I got some help from my guys up front and my DBs, but just to not have a ‘co' on the front of it definitely is a better feeling than last year."
"I'm extremely blessed to be able to be in this situation where I'm being recognized as defensive player of the year again," Greene said "… I'm thankful to have my teammates, especially my defensive line who has helped me so much to be able to run free and run side-to-side and our secondary who was able to lock people up and run the ball."
Greene made 125, including 10.5 TFLs, 5.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown this season. "I think I had a better season in my eyes than what I had last year and what I expected," Greene said. "… I'm just happy to see these results, but at the same time just thankful to have guys around me that were able to help me get this."
Greene still sees his decision to stay at Rutgers for a fifth year as the right one, but said it is a decision every player needs to make for himself.
"It all depends on the player and the situation," Greene said. "You see, for instance, [Mohamed Sanu]. The perfect decision for him was to leave school and that just shows from his play in the NFL. The fact that he had 100-plus catches, his situation was a little different from mine."
Rutgers coach Kyle Flood took home a share of Coach of the Year honors from the conference, which was well earned in Greene's eyes.
"He definitely deserves it," Greene said. "The time that he put in this year, and just getting this group of guys when he was appointed head coach in January and just taking us from there, running it and never looking back. … To recognize him, it speaks a lot about the respect he's developed around the conference and it definitely speaks a lot about his effort to make this program take the next step."
As happy as Greene is for Flood, however, seeing Steve Beauharnais snubbed for a second straight year is a shock.
"I'm very surprised," Greene said. "This was a guy that was up for the Bednarik. … Just to see his production over the four years that he's been here, it was very shocking to me that he didn't make first team. I'm not being biased when I say this, he's a great football player. … We know what we've got in our quarterback of the defense. He's a leader. If you ask me, he's an All-American … it's a shame to be left off that list."