Make no mistake. Chad Greenway will play in the NFL someday. But that someday isn't happening an earlier than necessary.
November 17, 2004
hawkeyesports.com note: The following was written by Kevin Evans and first appeared in November 17, 2004 editions of the Waterloo Courier.
If any Iowa football players are going to opt for that route after this season, it won't be Chad Greenway.
The junior linebacker from Mt. Vernon, S.D., said without hesitation Tuesday that he is staying.
"No, this is definitely not my last game at Kinnick Stadium," said Iowa's leading tackler.
"I have a whole other year ahead of me, six or seven games, depending on how the schedule works out.
"I am looking forward to next year."
Despite a little bit of a stunned look in his face, Greenway understood why he was being quizzed.
He and teammate Abdul Hodge were both all-Big Ten as sophomores and were also the top two tacklers in the league.
Their play this season is in no small way responsible for Iowa's success in earning a third straight January bowl game.
"It is good to be in that situation. Who wouldn't want to be in that situation? But at the same time, I have got a responsibility to my teammates here and I have got a job to finish here at Iowa."
Iowa linebacker Chad Greenway about the possibility of foregoing his final year of eligibility at the UI to go to the NFL
"Oh, I understand why I've been asked a couple of times earlier this year," said Greenway, who also has three interceptions on his stat sheet this fall.
"It is good to be in that situation," he added. "Who wouldn't want to be in that situation? But at the same time, I have got a responsibility to my teammates here and I have got a job to finish here at Iowa."
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz got the question before Greenway and tried to make light of it at first.
"I sure hope not," he said when asked if Greenway was going to be in his last game in Kinnick this Saturday against Wisconsin.
"Do you expect him to get hurt or something? Let's not even talk about that."
But as far as the NFL goes, he doesn't want to think about that either.
"We don't want to start talking about that already," he said. "I think not."
Part of Greenway's unfinished business is against the Badgers Saturday in a game that could be for a share of the Big Ten title.
Greenway says the thought of leaving early really has not been on his mind.
"For those of you who know how I think, that is not my style to think like that," he said.
"That is a kind of selfish way of thinking in my eyes, to think ahead to my future.
"We need to think of the future of this team at this point, and I think the future of this team is me staying here and playing another year, and that is what I want to do."
Nothing could change that?
"I have a lot to learn," he said. "I have played pretty well, but I don't think I have played my best football yet. I have a lot to learn at the college level.
"Someday I hope to play at the next level, but I think I still have a lot to prove here."
Greenway has started every game this year and is tops on the team with 94 tackles, 58 of them solo. In addition to his three picks - which he has returned 54 yards - he has two sacks, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick and five pass breakups. He has five other tackles for loss.
A year ago he was second to Hodge in total tackles with 132, 11 of them for loss.