Gavin Greene is trying to follow in his father’s footsteps.
The undrafted free agent defensive end and Jets tryout from Division II Mississippi College is the son of legendary Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene, who also coached Jets linebackers from 2017-2018. The elder Greene played 15 years in the NFL from 1985-1999, including long stints with the Rams, Steelers, Panthers and 49ers. His 160 combined career sacks ranks fourth in NFL history.
Greene died of a heart attack at the age of 58 on Dec. 21, 2020. Now his son is trying to make him proud.
“I’m sure my dad’s smiling down from heaven right now, just so happy that, you know, despite his passing and all the adversity I’ve been through with that, that I have overcame it and I’m here now,” the younger Greene said Saturday. “I bet he’s just overjoyed.”
Greene found out he’d likely join the Jets as a rookie tryout during the third day of the NFL draft. One of the team’s national scouts, Dom Green, called to ask if he’d like to come to Florham Park.
“I’m like, ‘Sign me up! Let’s make it happen!’” Greene said. “And now I’m here.”
The 6-foot, 250-pounder transferred to Mississippi College from Southern Mississippi in 2018, where Greene tallied 52 combined tackles, half a sack and five QB hits in 21 games from 2019-2021. Despite the lower level of competition Greene faced in college, he believes the Gulf South Conference he played in is the Divison II equivalent of the SEC.
Though he’s likely a long shot to make the team, the lessons Greene’s father taught him have driven him to this moment.
“I’ve always played like it’s my last play. That’s how my dad trained me to play. My dad was one of the biggest coaches in my life. I just came in here, felt no pressure and to just to have fun,” Greene said. “I loved my dad. Me and my dad had a very special relationship. And the fact I’m here and I’m here in the facility that he walked in, been in the same places he’s been here, that’s awesome. Following in my father’s footsteps as of now is the biggest honor I think a kid could have.”
This content was originally published here.