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Clemson Football

Greene is looking forward to facing La. Tech's Air Raid offense in Primetime

September 16, 2022
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Clemson cornerback Malcolm Greene played in every game his freshman year but was bothered by a lingering shoulder injury that caused him to miss the better part or all of the past two springs. He entered the fall fully healthy-- and on Labor Day night-- made his only tackle count when he blasted a Georgia Tech running back behind the line of scrimmage.

Cornerbacks coach Mike Reed was asked how he felt about having the versatile junior back, who also spends time at nickel and is capable of stepping in at safety.

'’Good," Reed said during fall camp. "He's like a sparkplug. He's like the Energizer Bunny. If he doesn't bring that juice, then I'm going to find him because that's what he does.'’

Greene brought the energy on Saturday when he stripped Furman tight end, Ryan Miller, after a 16-yard gain to the Tigers’ eight-yard line. He finished the game with the forced fumble (first of his career) and four total tackles. 

Before signing with Clemson in December of 2019 and enrolling early in 2020, the Richmond, Va native played at Highland Springs in Highlands, Va, the same school as former Clemson All-ACC safety K’Von Wallace. On Tuesday, Greene said Wallace is like a brother to him, and they are in contact with each other weekly.

Wallace, who is in his third year with the Philadelphia Eagles, also played a significant role in Greene's decision to sign with the Tigers.

“The things that they can bring for you outside of football, in life. The intangible wealth Clemson brings to the table and their care for you outside of the game. It's outmatched. You won't find that anywhere else in the country,” is what Wallace told Greene about the Clemson program.

“We have a group of guys that have a strong love for each other and really never want to give up on each other, but you have staff members that match their energy also and [have] full belief in you and try to help you sharpen yourself to be the best man every day.”

Greene and his fellow cornerbacks have also focused on getting better and physically stronger.  

“We all have just been developing as athletes and becoming a lot more physical and stronger," he said. "I feel like we've been doing really good on the outside with holding up against screens and perimeter plays to where we feel we can physically compete with anybody in the country.

“We call ourselves 200. That's a goal weight for most of our corners. To be 200 pounds or anything ranged between 193 to 200.”

At 5’10, 195 pounds, Greene has met the goal, and so has starter Fred Davis (200), and freshman Jeadyn Lukus (195). Toriano Pride Jr.(190), senior starter Sheridan Jones (190), Nate Wiggins (185), and Myles Oliver (180) have yet to reach the range, but being 200 is more than a number.

"....You might think one game might not be a big game because of the name of the team, but you lose that game, you'll see how big that game is.'’
- Malcolm Greene 

There’s a standard and level of toughness attached to it as well.

“And when you hold that name 200, that means a lot," Greene noted. "[If] you do something soft, everybody on the team will say, 'That ain't 200.' We hold ourselves to a high standard, and I feel like you have to do that in every aspect of your game."

Coverage, tackling, and everything required of a cornerback will be needed to defend Louisiana Tech’s Air Raid offense at 8 pm on Saturday. Tech is coached by first-year head coach Sonny Cumbie, a disciple of Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach and Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Tech is averaging 276 passing yards, a paltry figure by Air Raid standards, but the secondary can expect the quarterbacks to throw many passes to tight end Griffin Herbert and explosive receivers Tre Harris, Smoke Harris, and Cyrus Allen.

“I love when the ball is in the air because I know that's an opportunity for us to show what we got up under our belts and show what we've been working for," said Greene about facing the pass-happy offense at night in Death Valley.

"Coach Swinney calls it the prime time phase. This is where you step up. Primetime is really where you show your work. Playing under the lights, there's nothing like it in Death Valley. It’s definitely a game that we want to focus in and make sure that we have all the little things tightened up and very sharp towards.”

Louisiana Tech (1-1) lost to Missouri 52-24 in Week 1 but whipped Stephen F. Austin 52-17 last week. 

Like Furman, Tech is not a Power Five school, and no one expects them to exit Death Valley with an upset win over the No. 5 team in the country. But if this season has taught us anything thus far, that is upsets are possible even when non-Power Five schools visit venues with the presence of the 12th Man and Touchdown Jesus.

So have the Tigers made a serious note of No. 5 Texas A&M falling to Appalachian State and future opponent Notre Dame suffering a loss to Marshall and plummeting out of the top 25?

'’You see things like that going on in the country, but you just have to have an understanding that we got to have a huge focus for every single week,'’ Greene said when asked about the chaos of last weekend, which also included Georgia Southern, a Sun Belt Conference East division rival of App. State and Marshall, defeating Nebraska in Lincoln. 

“We’ve got to practice hard every single day. We can't take anything lightly as a group, and coaches do a great job of harping that on us because you might think one game might not be a big game because of the name of the team, but you lose that game, you'll see how big that game is.'’

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Greene is looking forward to facing La. Tech's Air Raid offense in Primetime

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