Whether it was becoming the first NCAA Division I quarterback in history to win 42 games and start 52 consecutive games or leading Georgia to the Southeastern Conference title in 2002 for the first time in 20 years, Greene¹s name will forever be remembered as one of the all-time great Bulldogs.
After Greene completed 849 passes for 11,528 yards and 72 touchdowns (all school records) from 2001-04, the Snellville, Ga., native was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Greene, who now lives with his wife Veronica in Grayson, Ga., during the offseason, joined the Kansas City Chiefs in December 2007 and is now training for the 2008 season.
But before Greene begins the season, he will be joining up with Matt and Jon Stinchcomb, along with many more former as well as current Bulldogs, to host the Countdown To Kickoff weekend in Athens on July 18-19. Countdown To Kickoff offers fans opportunities to play golf, run drills and get autographs from Bulldogs in the NFL, other UGA legends from the past and current members of Georgia¹s football team.
Here¹s Greene¹s take on the Countdown to Kickoff, what he has been up to lately and his feelings about the current Bulldog team:
Q: Tell us a little bit about Countdown to Kickoff.
A: Countdown to Kickoff is an annual charity event that allows former Georgia football players the opportunity to help raise money for Children¹s Healthcare of Atlanta, Children¹s Tumor Foundation, Georgia Transplant Foundation, and Children need Children¹s Foundations. This event is unique because it allows former players to get together once a year and raise money for a good cause. We start off with a golf tournament and dinner auction on Friday, July 18th, and then have the Fan Day on the Saturday, July 19th. Matt, Jon and I are really excited about the direction this event is going. We think it is important as former players to be able to come back and interact and have fun with kids that grew up watching us play.
Q: What makes Countdown to Kickoff different than the many other charitable events?
A: One thing that separates our charity event from others is the fact that fans can come out and get their pictures made with former UGA players. At no time will you have so many former UGA football players at one place at one time. From a former player¹s perspective, it allows us to give back to our fans and at the same time raise money for these foundations.
Q: Are you expecting to see any of your former teammates at this year's event?
A: Absolutely! The turnout has been great the first two years and we expect it only to get better.
Q: What have you been up to during the off-season in Kansas City?
A: I actually have been home in Grayson, Ga., for most of the offseason enjoying being with my wife Veronica and new son, Jordan. I have been going to Kansas City the past few weeks during the week, working out, throwing, etc., and then home for the weekends!
Q: Do you see Kansas City being a long-term stop in your career?
A: I certainly hope so. This is a team that is rebuilding and it¹s a great opportunity for me. I hope to take full advantage of it.
Q: Are you planning on making it back to Athens for any games this season?
A: I have one off-week during the season and I usually get home for the game that weekend. Hopefully my off-week will coincide with a home game.
Q: What are the major tools that you picked up while playing for the Bulldogs that carry over with the Chiefs?
A: I think experience is the number one thing. Starting 52 games in the SEC and in every major stadium in the SEC is a great thing when trying to make a team in the NFL.
Q: What do you feel Coach Richt has brought to Georgia's program to separate it from most of the other programs in the nation?
A: He¹s definitely done that. I went to the spring game this year and I couldn¹t believe the talent on the field. When you win as much as he has over his seven years, you can really put together some great draft classes, and he¹s definitely taken advantage of that. What separates Coach Richt from other coaches is him as a person. He¹s a tremendous leader and has a great demeanor as a head coach. The Georgia football team is truly like a family, and you don¹t see that at many other schools.
Q: The media and fans have lofty expectations for the Bulldogs in 2008. How do you feel about their chances?
A: There is no doubt we got the ability. I think if we stay healthy and bring our ³A-game² every week, we got a good chance. The SEC is a tough league, and we got probably got the toughest schedule of anyone this year. We all know though, you can¹t predict anything in this league.