June 13, 2013

Greene doesn't knuckle under

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To this day, former Georgia quarterback David Greene has now idea how he was chosen to join the cast of the MLB Network's reality show, "The Next Knuckler."

"That's a very good question," Greene said recently. "I was just sitting at my office one day, I saw it was a New York number and the voice at the other end said 'Hey David, this is so-and-so from the MLB Network' and I'm like why are you calling me? I didn't even pitch in high school. I played outfield and DHed so it was quite an experience."

The show, which aired last February, also featured former college quarterback Josh (LSU) and John-David Booty (USC), Doug Flutie (Boston College) and Ryan Perriloux (LSU and Jacksonville State), who battled for the right to earn a spring training invitation with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Greene made the finals, where he lost to Josh Booty, a former two-sport star who played quarterback for LSU before receiving a cup of coffee for the Miami (formerly Florida) Marlins.

"It was a random cast of characters wasn't it?" said Greene, who had never pitched before taking part in the show.

"I was actually on the mound in the finals, it was pouring down rain in Dodgertown. Charlie Hough was my coach and I'm pitching a three-inning game against these college kids and I step off the mound and ask myself - what am I doing here?," he said. "How did I get myself into this?"

Of course, Georgia fans remember Greene for his accomplishments on the football field, of which there were many.

Among them, the 2002 SEC Championship and proud holder of the SEC record for most career yards passing with 11,528.

Probably not for long.

With 1,437 yards, current Georgia QB Aaron Murray will top Greene's career total, causing one more of his former marks to come tumbling down.

Last year, Murray threw his 95th career touchdown pass, shattering Greene's old mark of 72.

But Greene isn't worried about dropping down a peg or two in the Bulldog record book.

"Honestly, I really didn't think about it, but kind of selfishly as a fan now, I just wish he had five more yards on his passing stats," said Greene, referring to December's SEC Championship game.

Greene said he was definitely impressed, not only with Murray but the overall balance displayed by the Bulldog offense, one he anticipates will be able to post some impressive numbers again this fall.

"Last year was phenomenal. The way they ran up and down the field and I think the type of balance they had on offense was what I was so impressed with," Greene said. "(Todd) Gurley and (Keith) Marshall were a great little tag team and the way Murray was playing and knowing that all the guys they have returning this year, I don't think the expectations can be much higher than they are right now."

Greene said he'll be the first to congratulate Murray whenever his passing yards record falls.

The two have become close over the years and speak often, including last December when Murray was contemplating leaving Georgia a year early for the NFL.

"I talked to him once or twice around Christmas time. I think he was just calling to check in, more so than ask my opinion because honestly that was a decision he was going to make with the coaching staff and his parents," Greene said. "I think No. 1, I don't think his draft stock can get much higher than it was last year; he played about as well last year as he can play but at the same time you're only in college once and he was this close to playing for a national championship so I'm glad he wanted to come on back."