Big goals in mind, Greene says Clemson gave him better shot at success than LSU

by - Senior Writer -
Greene wants to succeed in life beyond the gridiron. (Photo courtesy ACC)
Greene wants to succeed in life beyond the gridiron. (Photo courtesy ACC)

Malcolm Greene had a choice to make between Clemson and LSU in his recruiting process, and when it came time to make the final decision, it wasn’t difficult to make. You see, Greene wants to be a multi-millionaire and produce his own clothing line one day, and he felt like Clemson gave him a better chance of success.

Greene, a true freshman defensive back out of Richmond (VA) Highland Springs entered Saturday’s home game against Pittsburgh having played just 58 snaps on the season. Against the Panthers, however, Greene earned his first career start (at the nickel spot) and registered 35 snaps and his first career interception.

Saturday was the opportunity he’s been working towards.

“It was a very special moment. I just always was patient throughout this season and waited for my time,” Greene told TigerNet Monday. “I understood that I did put the work in. I'm just thankful for Coach (Brent) Venables for just being a great defensive coordinator and calling the right calls and putting me in great positions to make great plays and pouring into me outside of the field. And just helping my intellect of football. It helped me become a smarter player and that helps a lot on the field. I don't feel like it's anything more I can do other than just learn from him.”

Greene said he expected to play early.

“I don't really expect too many things in life, but this is actually one thing that I did expect,” he said. “I understand that I do put the work in. I tried to attempt to buy into the program as much as anyone could. I'm thankful to be a part of Clemson. This is the best place that I've been in many years. I really expected to make a big splash, but I'm just thankful that Coach Venables and Coach Reed, and the other defensive staff members just poured into me. Helped me learn the game plan, helped me learn football more, just helped me become a great player and put me in positions to make great plays.”

Greene committed to LSU in October of 2019, but his heart wasn’t in Baton Rouge -- his heart was in Clemson. The Tigers only had one spot open at his position, but cornerbacks coach Mike Reed stayed in contact with Greene and told him to be patient. In December, head coach Dabo Swinney called Reed into his office and told him he finally had a spot open and asked Reed if he had anyone in mind.

Reed immediately called Greene.

“It was really delightful if I could say, because Clemson's a place that I wanted to be since I started playing football in high school,” Greene said. “I saw my close friend K'Von Wallace here playing football and doing great things. This is really somewhere that I wanted to be. I love the culture and it was something that I always wanted to be a part of. So, when Coach Reed called me, Coach Swinney called me and said that the opportunity was there, I just couldn't pass it up.”

Waiting for the Clemson offer wasn’t as hard as one would think, not when you grow up with an attitude that is older than your years.

“It wasn't too hard. It wasn't very hard, because through conversations with Dabo Swinney and my high school head coach, they always told me that patience is key to life, really,” Greene said. “The turtle always wins the race it's in. The rabbit is real fast, but the turtle wins the race. Great things come with time. I've always been a patient guy. I understand that Dabo will put me in the position that I needed to be in, in due time.”

Greene de-committed from LSU and made the decision to attend Clemson, which led to an interesting night when LSU defeated Clemson in the National Championship Game. People sent Greene messages telling him that he had screwed up and picked the wrong Tigers.

“Yeah, it was messages from some people who don't really even really watch football. They just wanted something to jab at me and say something,” Greene said. “People all around my area, definitely and on Twitter and different recruiting sites were saying maybe I made the wrong decision. I shouldn't have flipped. But I know that I put myself in the perfect position to be great in life. I feel like Clemson is the best program and the best family to be a part of. I'm glad I made my decision.”

Greene acknowledged LSU’s greatness and tradition but said that Clemson will do more than make him a great football player – it will make him great in life beyond the gridiron.

“I feel LSU is definitely a great program. I was glad to have the opportunity to be a part of that, but I feel that Clemson just sets me up better for life,” Greene said. “I feel like Clemson is going to set me up to be a great football player at the end of the day and it's going to put me in a great position for life. I'm thankful for Coach Swinney, Coach Venables, Coach Reed, Coach (Xavier) Brewer and everybody that just poured into me and is helping me be a great athlete.”

Greene, who graduated high school with 55 credit hours and entered Clemson as a junior in the classroom, has big plans beyond his playing days, and Clemson’s P.A.W. Journey with Jeff Davis was one of the selling points for the Clemson program.

“I've always put all I can into things outside of the field because I knew that one day the game will end,” Greene said. “I also want to be a multi-millionaire, a billionaire if I can, after football. I know that P.A.W. Journey will set me up with the opportunities with internships and making connections with different companies and building relationships with people like Savannah (Bailey) and Jeff Davis. They're just great people and building relationships with them throughout my freshman year is just something that I would never replace. I'm thankful for having the opportunity.”

Those relationships will come in handy when Greene starts his own clothing line and he doesn’t pull any punches when he’s asked what he wants to do in life.

“I actually know exactly what I want to do. I want to make a sports apparel company, something like Battle Sports, but I want to make gear and shoes and different types of things,” he said. “I want to start that when I get into the NFL. I just want to make that a very big brand and make a lot from it and learn a lot from the business world as I am doing in college now. I just want to make a sports apparel company and make a multimillion-dollar company.

“I started thinking about at a very young age. Because throughout my time of playing football, people always looked to me for the gear and what to wear, the different swag techniques. How to put on their things. Advice on football, on football gear and also gear outside of sports, like dressing and fashion. People looked to me a lot for fashion. I just feel like my insight towards how to wear certain things will help the fashion game a lot for sports and for just fashion in general.”

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