As a true freshman Jeff Greene saw spot duty as the Jackets' number four receiver working behind Stephen Hill. Once Hill left for the NFL early and Tyler Melton and D.J. McKayhan graduated, Greene found himself in a unique spot as the most experienced receiver on Georgia Tech's team even though he has never caught a pass in a game and is only a true sophomore.
"Once we heard Stephen was leaving we were all very excited for him and know that he will do great things and that there is a great opportunity to replace. I know that no one will hand me a starting job and this is something I am going to have to work hard for. Now I am one step closer to starting without Stephen around, but I need to keep grinding," Greene said this spring.
Greene, fellow sophomore Darren Waller and veterans Jeremy Moore and Chris Jackson were the only scholarship receivers in camp this spring. Jackson played some at Alabama on special teams before transferring to Tech, but missed the last two years after sitting out following his transfer and after a major leg injury. Moore suffered a devastating knee injury and missed most of the last two years as well. Waller only took a handful of offensive snaps leaving Greene the least green receiver on the team. With a slimmed down receiver corps this spring, Greene and his teammates worked double time and switched off constantly to provide the offense with enough reps at receiver. Greene said the rotation was pretty wide open this spring.
"We rotate a lot and switched off this spring with me and Darren or me and Chris or Jeremy and Chris," Greene said of the receiver rotation.
Waller and Greene are likely the favorites to start this fall and three incoming freshmen, Travin Henry, Anthony Autry and Michael Summers join Jackson and Moore to finally give the Jackets a full complement of receivers. With an open quarterback competition also under way between Tevin Washington, Vad Lee and Synjyn Days the receivers will have to get used to all three signal callers because head coach Paul Johnson has yet to name a starting quarterback for the 2012 campaign.
"Every one knows none of us caught a ball in a game last year, but that makes me hungry to make a play and want to catch that first ball at VT," Greene said. "I spend all of the offseason working with Vad, Synjyn and Tevin getting used to their throwing styles as well as my route running and looking the ball in every time."
After playing his senior season with a broken hand and hauling in 33 passes for 630 yards, Greene knows how to work hard and make the most of his opportunities. Don't be surprised if you see him snatch the first pass of the year for the Jackets in Blacksburg on September 3.