The Pittsburgh Steelers had Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene in for a pre draft visit on Tuesday, and once again, our scouting buddy Dave-Te\’ Thomas was kind enough to give us his detailed scouting report profile on him, which you can read below. Make sure to listen to the latest episode of the podcast as we had Thomas on for nearly a full hour talking about the Steelers draft and prospects.
Rutgers University Scarlet Knights
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Avon Old Farms School
Elizabeth High School
When professional scouts had their first opportunity to examine Greene as a Rutgers line-backer in 2011, they were cautiously optimistic in their assessment of this neophyte talent. Still, there were whispers within the scouting community that this Scarlet Knight was on the cusp of greatness, with some of those talent evaluators going so far to compare him to one of the finest weak-side outside linebacker to ever play in the National Football League, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers All-Pro, Derrick Brooks.
You can understand why these scouts were cautious in their praise. After all, this was a former high school safety and wide receiver, who spent a year in the prep ranks before joining Rutgers as a 195-pounder in 2008. Two years of playing in the secondary while bulking up his once lanky frame turned Greene into a “tackling machine” during his junior campaign.
Now, after capturing back-to-back Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors, there is no question that the Scarlet Knight is truly the most elite draft prospect the university has ever produced. He concluded his career with 387 tackles, the fourth-highest total in Rutgers history.
Twenty-six games into his career as a linebacker, Greene has recorded at least ten tackles in sixteen of those appearances (adding two more double-digit tackle efforts in 2010 as a free safety). Those whispers have been replaced by loud cheers from those scouts, as they seem to all be jumping on the “Greene Bandwagon” that is rumbling through the competition and wreaking havoc for any opposing offensive coordinator trying to establish a ground attack vs. this Scarlet Knight.
When one looks back at the long history of Rutgers University football, which began on November 6th, 1869 with a 6-4 victory over Princeton, professional scouts see a team that has produced only three consensus All-Americans to date – end Paul Robeson (1917-18), center Alex Kroll (1961) and tight end Marco Battaglia (1995)
Based on his exceptional performances throughout the 2012 campaign, especially after recording the third-most tackles in a contest ever by a Scarlet Knight (22 vs. Army on November 10th), there is no other player in college football of vital importance to his team’s success like the Rutgers squad captain.
Greene did garner first-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report, which was announced on December 1st, 2012. That selection was historical for the school program, as no Rutgers linebackers had ever received anything more than All-American honorable mention ((Tyronne Stowe in both 1985-86, Jim Dumont in 1982, Ed Steward in 1978 and Jim Hughes in 1976, by the Associated Press) since the university began playing organized football in 1869.
During the time that Rutgers University has competed in football, it was not until recent years that the school has seen any of their players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Receiver Kenny Britt was the first one, having been chosen 30th overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2009, followed by offensive tackle Anthony Davis going to San Francisco with the 11th pick and cornerback Devin McCourty becoming a New England Patriot with the 27th selection of the 2010 draft phase.
Greene can not only become the first Scarlet Knight linebacker to be drafted in the first round, he could become just the third linebacker in school history to hear his name called on draft day. Jim Dumont was the 190th choice by Cleveland, taken in the seventh round of the 1984 draft. Elnardo Webster was selected with the 235th choice (round nine) by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992. Neither made much impact at the professional level, though.
Called the “most disruptive defensive player in the game of college football” by The NFL Draft Report, Greene played in a league where linebackers do not garner much national attention from the media. Since the Big East Conference was formed in 1991, only four players at that position have received consensus All-American recognition. The first was Miami’s Micheal Barrow in 1992, with West Virginia’s Canute Curtis joining him in 1996. The Hurricanes added Dan Morgan in 2000 and Grant Wiley of West Virginia was the last linebacker to receive that honor, coming in 2003.
Based on his sensational performance during the 2012 season, it appears that Greene made the wise decision to return to college for his senior campaign rather than test the professional “waters” and entering the 2012 NFL Draft. What he has done is thrust himself into the crop of few elite prospects teams will be clamoring for during the 2013 phase of the draft.
Greene’s transformation from high school receiver to college safety before taking over the demanding weak-side outside linebacker position has seen him display all of the ingredients that made Tampa Bay’s perennial All-Pro, Derrick Brooks the “measuring stick” scouts use when comparing players at this position. Much like Brooks, Greene combines great power, an exceptional closing burst and the range to cover the deep part of the field to be a constant disruption to any offensive game plan an opponent is trying to formulate.
The Scarlet Knight is a punishing wrap-up tackler who might not be the “classic 250-pound” linebacker, but hits with tremendous force, causing an NCAA all-time record fifteen fumbles while limiting ball carriers to an average of 1.01 yards per rushing attempt vs. the Rutgers standout (based on 204 plays made vs. the ground game in his twenty-five starts as a linebacker).
Greene is the type of player that has drawn constant attention from blockers who feebly “whiff at air” in attempts to stymie his explosive charge into the backfield, where he has not only generated 38 tackles behind the line of scrimmage (24 solos, 14 assists) that have included eleven sacks, but his relentless pressure on the pocket (36 hurries) has resulted in those passers tossing ten interceptions after being flushed out of the pocket by #20, along with three forced fumbles.
His low center of gravity and incredible ability to shed blocks, especially when battling through the pile, has allowed him to bring down 32 runners at the line of scrimmage on rushing attempts. Of his 387 career tackles, he has delivered 125 of those hits on third-down plays and 26 more on fourth-down snaps. He posted 44 of his stops inside the red zone, keeping the opponent out of the end zone on nineteen tackles that were produced on goal-line plays.
Greene has the field savvy of a veteran and plays with a “take no prisoners” approach on the field. That was evident when he came out of his area to make 46 touchdown-saving tackles at the opposite end of the field. His hard charge to the line of scrimmage has seen opposing offensive linemen jump off-side eighteen times since he shifted to linebacker to begin the 2011 campaign.
With Greene taking over linebacker duties as a junior, the team’s success on defense was immediate, as they finished the 2011 season ranked ninth in the nation in pass defense (172.31 ypg), 14th in total defense (314.15 ypg) and eighth in scoring defense (18.31 ppg). The previous season, Rutgers placed 65th in total defense (374.17 ypg), 62nd in scoring defense (26.5 ppg) and 65th in containing the run (156.42) while allowing 217.75 aerial yards per game (55th) in 2010.
During the Scarlet Knights’ 2012 campaign, the team captain helped his unit rank sixth in the nation in rush defense (97.15 ypg), tenth in total defense (311.62 ypg) and lead the Big East while placing fourth nationally in scoring defense (14.15 ppg). Among active players in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks, Greene ranks sixth in total tackles (387) and eighth in solo stops (211), while leading college football with fifteen forced fumbles.
While most linebackers are known for their tackling skills “inside the box,” it is very difficult to find an “every down” linebacker in this day and age of situational play. But, one has to look at Greene’s success dropping back into pass coverage to realize that this former safety might be what scouts are favorably calling him, the “complete package.”
As a linebacker, Greene has seen quarterbacks challenge his area 178 times with passes, but managed to complete only 31 of those attempts (17.42%). Those receivers gained just 237 yards with nine first downs and no touchdowns, averaging 7.65 yards per completion and a miniscule 1.33 yards per pass attempt, the lowest average for any active starting performer in college football (minimum of 50 passes targeted). He recorded 57 third-down stops and sixteen more of fourth-down plays vs. the aerial game.
Wait folks, there is much more to Greene’s “game” than just his defensive excellence. A player who some coach might have to “hide his helmet” in order to keep him off the field, he also takes great pride in his performances with the kickoff and punt coverage squads. He has delivered 34 tackles (26 solos) with four forced fumbles and two stops for losses while also recovering a blocked punt and recovering a blocked field goal for those units. He has also downed eight punts inside the 20-yard line.
Prior to arriving at the Rutgers University campus in 2009, Greene was first a standout safety for head coach Chet Parlavecchio at Elizabeth High School, who took over the football program from coach Jeff Weiner prior to Greene’s senior season in 2006. The Minutemen finished 6-4 during the safety’s junior campaign, but marched to an 11-1 mark with an undefeated record (8-0) in Watchung Football League competition, ranking fifth in the state that season.
Greene was named All-State third-team and All-Union first-team by the Newark Star-Ledger that year, as he helped the Minutemen capture the New Jersey North II, Group IV State Championship while competing as an outside linebacker, safety and receiver in 2006. On defense, he delivered 117 tackles (68 solos) while returning two fumble recoveries for touchdowns. Greene also lettered in basketball as a junior, averaging 19.0 points for head coach Donald Stewart during Watchung-American Conference competition.
Upon graduation, Greene traveled to Connecticut, where he competed for Avon Old Farms Prep School as a safety and receiver in 2007. In addition to leading the Beavers with five interceptions for the defensive team, he helped head coach Kevin Driscoll’s offensive unit by gaining 315 yards on twelve receptions with three touchdowns, as his average of 26.25 yards per catch led the Erickson Football League.
Greene also picked up 18 yards on four carries. His best offensive performance came in a tough 21-14 loss to the Salisbury School, as he snared three passes for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He followed with 84 yards on four grabs vs. Trinity-Pawling and closed out his prep career with three catches for 72 yards and a score vs. the Kent School. He also lettered in basketball for coach Tim Roller, helping the team compile a 12-10 record.
Greene received a two-star prospect ranking from Rivals.com after his season at Avon Old farms. He visited the Rutgers campus Christmas Day, 2008, signing a national letter-of-intent for recruiter John McNulty two days later. Arriving at 195 pounds, he would spend the 2008 season bulking up and competing as a safety with the scout team.
With his frame a chiseled 210 pounds, Greene was listed behind Zaire Kitchen at free safety in 2009. He appeared in all thirteen games, despite being limited during the second half of the schedule after injuring his knee in the Connecticut clash. He earned his first career starting assignment vs. Army, responding with five solo tackles and a fumble recovery.
For his red-shirt freshman season, Greene posted 33 tackles (22 solos) with two sacks, a pair of quarterback pressures, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions for 32 yards in returns. He also caused a fumble and recorded eight tackles (6 solos) on special teams.
With the defensive squad, opponents attempted 25 passes into his area, as he allowed seven receptions (28.0 pass completion percentage) for 83 yards while rerouting his coverage assignment away from eight tosses and making three touchdown-saving tackles vs. the aerial game, adding four more touchdown-saving stops in run support. He was in on a total of 20 third-down stops and took down ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain three times.
Greene added five pounds to his frame en route to earning the free safety position for the 2010 campaign. He finished fourth on the team with 77 tackles (45 solos) that included 3.5 stops for loss and a trio of pressures. He also caused four fumbles, deflected three passes and intercepted three others. On special teams, he recovered a blocked punt, downed three more punts inside the 20-yard line and produced eight tackles (7 solos).
On 74 passes targeted into his area, receivers were prevented from getting to 29 throws thanks to Greene’s physical press coverage. They caught 23 balls (31.08%) for 387 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as the sophomore delivered 22 third-down hits vs. the aerial game. He held ball carriers to 160 yards on 40 carries, taking down six runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain.
An intense training program in the off-season saw Greene return to campus as a 220-pound starting weak-side outside linebacker in 2011. He earned All-American honors while garnering Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year recognition. Only nine players in college football recorded more than the junior’s 141 tackles (74 solos), which rank fifth on the school season-record list and were the most by a Scarlet Knight since Brian Sheridan set the mark with 161 in 1997. It was also the most by a Big East Conference player since Grant Wiley of West Virginia totaled 167 in 2003.
Greene also recorded 15.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage that included 3.5 sacks, as he posted twelve pressures and caused four fumbles. He chipped in eleven more hits (9 solos) with two stops for loss and a forced fumble for the special teams squad. For that unit, he also downed three punts inside the 20-yard line and recovered a blocked field goal that he returned 11 yards.
Serving as one of the Scarlet Knights’ captains, Greene made 114 stops vs. the running game, holding those ball carriers to 137 yards (1.2 ypc) while making fifteen of those hits on third-down plays and another on a fourth-down snap. Twelve runners were met and stopped at the line of scrimmage for no gain vs. the weak-side linebacker, who delivered sixteen of his tackles inside the red zone, including six on goal-line plays.
In pass coverage, Greene rerouted his assignments away from 38-of-79 passes targeted into his area (48.1%), as he saw just sixteen tosses completed (20.25%) for 149 yards, an average of 9.31 yards per completion and 1.89 yards per attempt. He also showed off his great range, coming out of his area on passing and running plays to produce twelve touchdown-saving tackles among his 141 hits.
After the 2011 regular season, Greene was strongly considering leaving school and entering the 2012 NFL Draft. Usually, the best option for a draft prospect is to leave school after an outstanding season. However, Greene decided to return to the university. “I’ve decided that the best thing for me to do is to stay in school,” Greene told the media Tuesday during a brief pre-Pinstripe Bowl news conference.
“From the outside looking in, you have what everybody thinks is a great season and (they say) you’ve got to go when you’re hot and all of those things. People start talking (about you) and you get a little buzz and you think maybe you could potentially leave and get drafted and try out for a team, whatever the case may be,” the linebacker noted. “That was the hardest thing.”
Recently named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-American and All-Big East Conference first-team squad, Greene was also selected the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches and media. The National Defensive Player of the Year finalist again led the team with 136 tackles (70 solos) that include six sacks, eleven stops for loss and eighteen quarterback pressures. His average of 10.46 tackles per game ranked second in the Big East Conference and 15th nationally.
Greene also deflected six passes, adding two interceptions. His six forced fumbles tied for second in the FBS ranks. Now measuring in over 235 pounds, the senior captain made 90 plays vs. a ground game that managed to gain only 69 yards (0.77 ypc) vs. the weak-side linebacker. Only 15-of-99 passes targeted into his area (15.15%) were completed, as he made 32 third-down stops and nine more on fourth-down snaps vs. the opposition’s aerial attack.
Greene has started 39 of the 51 games he appeared in for the Scarlet Knights – one at nickel back/outside linebacker in 2009; twelve at free safety in 2010; 26 at weak-side outside linebacker from 2011-12…Recorded 387 tackles (211 solos) with 11.5 sacks for minus 86 yards and 32.5 stops for losses totaling 130 yards, in addition to posting 35 quarterback pressures…Deflected ten passes and gained 117 yards on seven interception returns (16.71 avg)…Caused fifteen fumbles and recovered four others, advancing one 20 yards for a touchdown vs. Temple in 2012…Added 34 tackles (26 solos) with 26 knock-downs, 29 wedge-break-ups, eight downed punts inside the 20-yard line, four forced fumbles, a pair of fumble recoveries and 42 first-downfield plays as a member of the punt and kickoff coverage units…The “ultimate” playmaker, Greene more than lived up to that title as the team’s most dominant performer, as his total of 43 touchdown-saving tackles (28 vs. the run; 14 vs. the pass; one on special teams) are the most by a college football player in a career since linebacker Derrick Johnson of Texas set the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision mark with 45 touchdown-saving stops for the Longhorns from 2001-04…
Became the ninth player in school history to join Rutgers’ “300-Tackle Club” that includes Tyronne Stowe (533; 1983-86), Jim Dumont (448; 1979-83), Brian Sheridan (389; 1993-97), Courtney Greene (386; 2005-08), Pat Udovich (363; 1986-89), Aaron Brady (354; 1995-98), Keith Woetzel (323; 1980-82) and Tim Blanchard (312; 1975-78), ranking fifth in school history…He is also the seventh player in Scarlet Knights annals to record over 200 solo tackles, as his 211 hits rank sixth all-time, surpassed by only Tyronne Stowe (326), Jim Dumont (309), Aaron Brady (261), Brian Sheridan (233) and Courtney Greene (219)…His 141 tackles in 2011 rank fifth on the school season-record list, topped by Brian Sheridan (161 in 1997), Tyronne Stowe (157 in 1985; 150 in 1986) and Jim Dumont (154 in 1983)…His 141 tackles are also the most by a Scarlet Knight in a season since Courtney Greene made 116 hits in 2005, and are the most by a Big East Conference player in a campaign since Grant Wiley of West Virginia set the league annual mark with 167 tackles in 2003…With 136 in 2012, Greene is just the fourth player in Rutgers annals to record over 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons, joining Jim Dumont (133 in 1982 and 154 in 1983), Tyronne Stowe (157 in 1985 and 150 in 1986) and Pat Udovich (104 in 1988 and 140 in 1989)…Greeene’s 67 assisted tackles in 2011 rank third on the Rutgers annual record chart, topped by Tyronne Stowe (81 in 1986) and Pat Udovich (69 in 1989)…His fifteen forced fumbles (twelve on defense and four on special teams) established an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record, as that total topped the old record of fourteen shared by Antwan Peek of Cincinnati (2000-02), Terrell Suggs of Arizona State (2000-02), Kenechi Udeze of Southern California (2001-03), Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue (2007-10) and Cordarro Law of Southern Mississippi (2008-11)…His six forced fumbles in 2012 tied Diamond Ferri of Syracuse (2004) for fifth on the Big East’s annual record chart, topped by Claude Harriott of Pittsburgh (seven in 2002), Grant Wiley of West Virginia (seven in 2003), Dwight Freeney of Syracuse (eight in 2001) and Elvis Dumervil of Louisville (ten in 2005), in addition to breaking the previous school annual record of five by Aaron Brady and Chris Cebula in 1995 and matched by Raheem Orr in 2002 and Ramel Meekins in 2006…Greene’s three forced fumbles vs. Syracuse in 2012 not only set school and Big East Conference game-records, but that total was one shy of the NCAA Football Bowl Sub-division game mark of four, established by Nordly Capi of Colorado State vs. New Mexico on September 3rd, 2011…Blocked two kicks, as he advanced a blocked punt three yards vs. Florida International in 2010 and a blocked field goal eleven yards vs. Navy in 2011…Among his 35 quarterback pressures, ten of those hurries resulted in opposing quarterbacks throwing interceptions and three others led to fumbles…In 26 games as an outside linebacker, Greene delivered 277 tackles (144 solos) with 9.5 sacks for minus 72 yards, 27.0 stops for losses of 111 yards and 30 QB pressures, as he also caused ten fumbles, recovering two others that included a 20-yard touchdown return…He gained 58 yards on two interception returns and deflected seven passes…As a linebacker, he registered 204 plays vs. the ground game, limiting those ball carriers to 206 yards (1.01 ypc), no touchdowns and only eleven first downs, as in addition to his 25.5 stops for loss, he tackled runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain 23 times, along with posting 25 third-down tackles and four more on fourth-down snaps…40 of his tackles came inside the red zone, with fourteen coming on goal-line plays…Greene’s 22 tackles vs. Army in 2012 tied Dray Bell of Nevada (vs. Air Force on October 26th) for the fourth-highest game total by an FBS performer that season, topped by only Albert Rosette of Nevada (25 vs. Air Force) and Nick Clancy of Boston College (vs. Northwestern)…His 22-tackle effort tied Lamar Myles of Louisville (vs. Kentucky in 2007), Grant Wiley of West Virginia (vs. Syracuse in 2001), Rick Sherrod of West Virginia (vs. Syracuse in 2001) and Ramon Walker of Pittsburgh (vs. Miami in 2001) for fifth on the Big East Conference game-record chart, surpassed by only a 25-tackle performance by Frank Chamberlain of Boston College (vs. Syracuse in 1999) and 23-tackle efforts by Dax Strohmeyer of Rutgers (vs. Syracuse in 1999), Taylor Suman of Temple (vs. Syracuse in 1999) and Nate Webster of Miami (vs. West Virginia in 1998)… Greene’s 22 tackles rank behind Strohmeyer and Tyronne Stowe (27 vs. West Virginia in 1986) on the school game-record chart…During his last two seasons as a linebacker, Greene was involved in 178 passes targeted into his area, as he rerouted his coverage assignments away from 72 of those attempts (40.45%), in addition to defending nine throws (seven pass break-ups, two thefts). Only 31 of those tosses were caught by the opposition (17.42%), generating 237 yards, no touchdowns and nine first downs, an average of 7.65 yards per pass completion and 1.33 yards per pass attempt (lowest figure for any active defender in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks; minimum of 50 passes targeted). He recorded 57 third-down stops and sixteen more of fourth-down plays vs. the aerial game…On special teams, Greene delivered 34 tackles (26 solos) with four forced fumbles and two stops for losses while recovering a blocked punt and recovering a blocked field goal for those units. He also downed eight punts inside the 20-yard line…In 2011, Greene became the first Scarlet Knight to earn Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors since the award was started in 1991. The only other Rutgers players to receive any sort of league post-season accolades was tight end Marco Battaglia (Big East Offensive Player of the Year in 1995), Nate Jones (Special Teams co-Player of the Year in 2002) and Willie Foster (Special Teams Player of the Year in 2005)…Selected Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year again in 2012, he joined Corey Moore of Virginia Tech (1998-99) as the only players to that honor more than once in a career since the conference was first organized in 1991…The senior became just the sixth player to lead the league in tackles in consecutive seasons…He also became the seventh Scarlet Knight to accomplish that feat in back-to-back seasons since the university began playing organized football in 1869 (others to lead the team in back-to-back seasons were Tom Holmes (124 in 1974 and 96 in 1975), Jim Dumont (133 in 1982 and 154 in 1983), Tyronne Stowe (157 in 1985 and 150 in 1986), Pat Udovich (104 in 1988 and 140 in 1989), Elnardo Webster (99 in 1990 and 81 in 1991) and Jarvis Johnson (97 in 2003 and 75 in 2004).
Greene earned All-American and All-Big East Conference first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, as that scouting information service and the league’s coaches named the weak-side outside line-backer the Big East Defensive Player of the Year…The senior was also named All-American first-team by ESPN, second-team by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and Sports Illustrated, adding third-team accolades from the Associated Press and CBSSports.com…Semi-finalist for the Bednarik Award…When the defensive captain added Walter Camp All-American recognition, he became just the fourth player in school annals to be named to Walter Camp’s national squad. Tight end Marco Battaglia was a Walter Camp first-team honoree in 1995, followed by tailback Ray Rice, a two-time second-team choice in 2006 and 2007, and most recently by offensive tackle Anthony Davis, a third-team pick in 2009…Greene was again named All-Big East Conference first-team by the league’s media and coaches, as he was also chosen Big East Defensive Player of the Year, joining Corey Moore of Virginia Tech (1998-99) to receive Player of the Year honors more than once in a career since the conference was first organized in 1991…The senior ranked 15th in the nation while leading the Scarlet Knights and the Big East in tackles, recording 136 hits (70 solos), as he became just the sixth player to lead the league in tackles in consecutive seasons…Also became the seventh Scarlet Knight to accomplish that feat in back-to-back seasons since the university began playing organized football in 1869 (others to lead the team in back-to-back seasons were Tom Holmes (124 in 1974 and 96 in 1975), Jim Dumont (133 in 1982 and 154 in 1983), Tyronne Stowe (157 in 1985 and 150 in 1986), Pat Udovich (104 in 1988 and 140 in 1989), Elnardo Webster (99 in 1990 and 81 in 1991) and Jarvis Johnson (97 in 2003 and 75 in 2004)…Named to the American Football Coaches Association “Good Works” team…The senior missed 2012 spring drills while recovering from surgery for a gruesome right ankle injury that he suffered during the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl… Fully recovered, Greene has been a terror vs. opposing offenses through the Scarlet Knights’ failed quest to capture the league title, which went down to the season finale before a conference champion was decided…In addition to his 136 tackles, Greene made six sacks for minus 41 yards, 12.5 stops for losses of 52 yards and eighteen quarter-back pressures, as five of those hurries caused interceptions and two others caused fumbles…His six forced fumbles are tied for second on the NCAA Football Bowl Sub-division charts, topped by only Georgia’s Jarvis Jones (seven)…His six forced fumbles also broke the previous school season-record of five, first set by both Aaron Brady and Chris Cebula in 1995 and matched by Raheem Orr in 2002 and Ramel Meekins in 2006, in addition to tying Diamond Ferri of Syracuse (2004) for fifth on the Big East’s annual record chart, topped by Claude Harriott of Pittsburgh (seven in 2002), Grant Wiley of West Virginia (seven in 2003), Dwight Freeney of Syracuse (eight in 2001) and Elvis Dumervil of Louisville (ten in 2005)…His total of fifteen caused fumbles (defense and special teams) established a new NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision record, topping the old mark of fourteen that was shared by Antwan Peek of Cincinnati (2000-02), Terrell Suggs of Arizona State (2000-02), Kenechi Udeze of Southern California (2001-03), Ryan Kerrigan of Purdue (2007-10) and Cordarro Law of Southern Mississippi (2008-11)…He also recovered a pair of fumbles, advancing one 20 yards for a touchdown while pouncing on the other in the end zone for a score…Greene deflected six passes and intercepted two others for 58 yards in returns…Had seven more stops (five solos), including a touch-down-saving tackle as a member of the punt coverage unit…The team captain recorded 90 plays vs. a ground game, as opponents have managed to gain only 69 yards (0.77 ypc) and four first downs vs. the weak-side linebacker, as he took down ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain on eleven of those attempts and delivered nine touchdown saving tackles, in addition to posting ten third-down hits and three more on fourth-down snaps vs. the ground game…Only 15-of-99 passes targeted into his area (15.15%) have been completed, good for 88 yards (5.87 yards per pass completion/0.89 yards per attempt), as he rerouted/ jammed his pass coverage assignments away from 34 other throws and had seven touch-down-saving tackles with 32 third-down hits and nine more on fourth-down snaps vs. the aerial attack…Also recorded one touchdown-saving tackle with seven stops (5 solos) and a pair of forced fumbles for the punt coverage unit…In the season opener vs. Tulane, Greene was ‘biting at the bit” to get back on the playing field and “hitting bodies” after sitting out spring drills recovering from a gruesome right ankle injury suffered in the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl. By the time the Scarlet Knights had finished handing the Green Wave a
24-12 defeat, fourteen Green Wave offensive players felt the wrath of the Rutgers weak-side linebacker and defensive captain. One of his bone-jarring stops resulted in a sack, as he also caused an interception with a crucial quarterback pressure, in addition to making a touch-down-saving tackle in pass coverage while breaking up a key pass attempt. Four of the senior’s hits came on third-down plays, with another on a fourth-down snap…Greene was in on ten tackles (3 solos) vs. Howard, the fourth-straight game he produced double digit stops. He added a 7-yard sack with two pressures while breaking up one throw and causing a fumble…A 23-13 Rutgers victory over South Florida came because Greene took up the challenge of “shadowing” ever elusive USF quarterback B.J. Daniels, who threw three interceptions while trying to escape the constant pressure the Scarlet Knights defensive captain brought throughout the contest. Greene recorded his fifth-straight double digit tackle performance with ten hits (9 solos) and two stops behind the line of scrimmage while also causing two of those pass thefts with QB hurries…For just the seventh time since Rutgers began playing collegiate football in 1889, the Scarlet Knights opened their campaign with five consecutive victories after downing Connecticut, 19-3. Greene led a swarming defense that not only intercepted four passes, including one by the weak-side linebacker that the team captain returned 33 yards in the waning moments of the contest, Greene registered five of the unit’s eleven quarterback pressures for the afternoon…The talented linebacker constantly thwarted anything that the Syracuse offense had to offer – killing a total of ten Syracuse possessions with one interception, four third-down stops, three more hits on fourth-down snaps and seeing two of his three forced fumbles lead to turnovers and Rutgers scoring drives. He finished the day with fourteen tackles (9 solos) and 1.5 sacks, as he not only wreaked havoc vs. the Orange offense, but also single-handedly destroyed any semblance of a return game that Syracuse tried to mount…If you listed to Army head coach Rich Ellerson, there was “eleven #20s on the field today.” Greene is the wearer of that number, but an even more impressive number was 22 – as in tackles, the third-highest total ever achieved by a Scarlet Knight in a game. The linebacker also had a pressure, a pass deflection and a forced fumble, as six of his hits came on third-down snaps and two more on fourth-down plays…With the offense struggling, it was Greene and his fellow defensive mates that guided the Knights to a 10-3 victory over Cincinnati, as the team captain recorded eleven tackles (8 solos), a pair of sacks, 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, a pass break-up and a pressure.
Greene was named to The NFL Draft Report’s All-American Super Sleeper Team, as the Scarlet Knights’ new starting weak-side outside linebacker was selected All-Big East Conference first-team and shared league Defensive Player of the Year honors, becoming the first Rutgers defender to ever earn that award…In thirteen games, he led the team and league while finishing tenth in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision ranks with a total of 141 tackles (74 solos) and 12th nationally with an average of 10.85 hits per game…His 141 tackles rank fifth on the school season-record list. It is the most by a Scarlet Knight in a season since Courtney Greene totaled 116 in 2005, and is the most by a Big East player since Grant Wiley of West Virginia set the conference annual record with 167 in 2003…
Recorded at least ten tackles in eight of his thirteen starting assignments…Added 3.5 sacks for minus 31 yards, along with 15.0 stops for losses totaling 59 yards to go with twelve quarterback pressures…Two of those pressures led to fumbles by the opposition and four others resulted in interceptions…On special teams, he delivered eleven tackles (9 solos), twice stopping punt returners for losses, as he caused a fumble on another punt return, downed three punts inside the 20-yard line and advanced a blocked field goal 11 yards…Named Big East Player of the Week vs. South Florida and shared league weekly honor roll recognition for his performance vs. Navy…With Greene taking over linebacker duties, the team’s success on defense was immediate, as they finished the 2011 season ranked ninth in the nation in pass defense (172.31 ypg), 14th in total defense (314.15 ypg) and eighth in scoring defense (18.31 ppg). The previous season, Rutgers placed 65th in total defense (374.17 ypg), 62nd in scoring defense (26.5 ppg) and 65th in containing the run (156.42) while allowing 217.75 aerial yards per game (55th) in 2010…Greene delivered on a nation-high 114 running plays, limiting those ball carriers to 137 yards (1.2 ypc), seven first downs and no touchdowns, making fifteen third-down hits and another on a fourth-down snap vs. the rushing attack…Also stopped ball carriers at the line of scrimmage for no gain on twelve rushing attempts…In pass coverage, Greene rerouted/jammed his coverage assignment away from 38-of-79 passes targeted into his area (48.1%), as he allowed just sixteen catches (opponents completed just 20.25% of those 79 throws) for 149 yards (9.31 yards per pass completion/1.89 yards per attempt), seven first downs and no touchdowns…He posted 25 third-down stops vs. the aerial attack and for the season, he was credited with twelve touchdown-resulting tackles (nine vs. the run)…Had a total of 21 stops behind the line of scrimmage (solos and assists), as he produced sixteen tackles inside the red zone, including six on goal-line snaps.
The All-Big East Conference second-team choice by The NFL Draft Report, Greene took over free safety duties, finishing fourth on the team with 77 tackles (45 solos), adding 3.5 stops for losses of 5 yards and three quarterback pressures, as two of his hurries caused interceptions…Ranked 13th in the league with an average of 6.42 tackles per game…Had at least ten tackles in each of the Army and Cincinnati games…Caused four fumbles, broke up three passes and intercepted three others for 27 yards in returns…Posted 40 plays vs. the rushing attack, holding those runners to 160 yards (4.0 ypc), eight first downs and no touchdowns, as he posted five third-down hits and seven stops inside the red zone, including five on goal-line snaps, in addition to taking running backs down at the line of scrimmage for no gain six times vs. the ground game…Registered ten touchdown-saving tackles, including six vs. the run for the season…Opponents targeted 74 passes into his area, but the sophomore free safety rerouted/jammed his coverage assignment on 29 of those incomplete throws (39.19%)…Those receivers managed to catch 23 balls for 387 yards (31.08 pass completion percentage, 5.23 yards gained per pass attempt), eight first downs and two scores, as he posted 22 third-down stops vs. the aerial game…Excelled on special teams, where he made eight tackles (7 solos), downed three punts inside the 20-yard line and recovered a blocked Rutgers punt, advancing the ball three yards.
Greene earned his first varsity letter as a reserve free safety, but received his first career start as an extra defensive back vs. Army…Was limited during the second half of the regular season schedule after he suffered a knee injury in the Scarlet Knights’ eighth game, vs. Connecticut…Recorded 33 tackles (22 solos) with a pair of sacks for minus 14 yards and two quarterback pressures, as he also recovered two fumbles and gained 32 yards on two interception returns with the defensive squad…On special teams, he had eight tackles (5 solos) and caused a fumble as a member of the kickoff coverage unit…
Made fourteen of his stops vs. the run, holding those ball carriers to 51 yards (3.64 ypc), three first downs and no touchdowns, as he stopped runners at the line of scrimmage for no gain three times and had a pair of touchdown-saving tackles vs. the ground game…Had 26 passes targeted into his area, rerouting receivers away from eight of those throws, as opponents caught seven tosses for 83 yards (26.92 pass completion percentage/3.32 yards gained per attempt), six first downs and no touchdowns…Delivered thirteen third-down stops and another on a fourth-down play in addition to posting three more touch-down-saving tackles vs. the aerial game…Also posted four touchdown-saving tackles on fourteen running plays that netted 38 yards (2.71 ypc).
Red-shirted as a freshman, competing with the scout team as a 195-pound free safety.
Greene attended Avon (Ct.) Old Farms Prep School prior to enrolling at Rutgers in 2008…
Avon Old Farms Football has built its reputation of instilling into our young men lifetime lessons based on character, leadership and honor. Avon Old Farms believes that some of life’s most important lessons are learned on the playing fields. The ideals of teamwork, commitment, sportsmanship and overcoming adversity are lessons learned by all of our young men on the football field. The football coaches at Avon Old Farms not only prepare the athletes to compete at a high level, they also stress and promote the importance of success in the classroom and as good citizens within the school community. The coaches work closely with our college counseling office and this has ensured our players that they are able to pursue placement at top colleges and universities…Competing at free safety, in addition to seeing time on offense as a receiver, Greene was named to the All-Erickson League first-team, in addition to being chosen All-New England (prep schools)…He was chosen the Beavers’ Most Valuable Player in 2007, as he not only led the league and team with five interceptions for the defensive squad, but also helped Avon head coach Kevin Driscoll’s offensive unit by gaining 315 yards on twelve receptions with three touchdowns, as his average of 26.25 yards per catch led the league…Greene also picked up 18 yards on four carries…The two-way performer was named a two-star prospect by Rivals.com after his season at Avon Old Farms…In addition to competing on the gridiron, Greene also lettered in basketball for head coach Tim Roller, helping the team compile a 12-10 record.
2009 Season…Greene left the Connecticut contest (10/31) in the second half with a knee sprain and did not return to the game. After resting during the Scarlet Knights’ bye week, he returned to action vs. South Florida (11/12), but saw minimal action the rest of the regular season schedule and did not record any tackles in each of the Syracuse (11/21), Louisville (did recover a fumble on 11/27) West Virginia (12/05) clashes.
2011 Season…With about five minutes remaining in Rutgers’ 27-13 victory over Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, Greene lay on the field in obvious pain from a right ankle injury. The Big East Conference\’s Co-defensive Player Of The Year was carted off the field via medical cart and would eventually undergo surgery to repair, missing the Scarlet Knights’ 2012 spring drills scrimmages. “The medical people think he is going to be okay,” said former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano in his postgame press conference after the bowl game. “Its going to take a little while to heal, but one of the things we wanted to do with Khaseem this Spring anyway was kinda cut back on what he was going to do in Spring football and all that. So, we will have a chance to develop in that area and how ever long the healing process takes it takes.”
As Greene fell, his right ankle got caught in the turf and twisted, he said. He remained on the turf for nearly 10 minutes before being carted off. Greene was on crutches in the locker room afterward, his right ankle in a protective boot, but was still smiling. At that time, the Big East’s co-Defensive Player of the Year said the injury may take some time to heal, but he will be able to return for his final season next fall.
“Let’s just say this: At least it happened at the end of the season,” Greene said. “I’ll be all right. I’ve got to get some more X-rays and I’ll probably be in a cast for a while, but this will be all patched up and fixed before next season starts.” Greene, who had to be carted off, suffered the injury without contact, saying his foot “kind of stuck in the grass the wrong way” as he was chasing the quarterback.
2012 Season…Greene sat out spring drills due to leg injury sustained in the 27-13 win over Iowa State (12/30) in the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium…The linebacker left the Pittsburgh game (11/24) late in the second quarter after a helmet-to-helmet collision, but returned to the lineup at the start of the second half.
4.71 in the 40-yard dash…1.65 10-yard dash…2.69 20-yard dash…4.20 20-yard shuttle…
7.58 three-cone drill…30-inch vertical jump…9’2” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times…31 7/8-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…77 ½-inch wingspan.
Greene was a standout safety for head coach Chet Parlavecchio at Elizabeth (N.J.) High School, who took over the football program from coach Jeff Weiner prior to Greene’s senior season in 2006…The Minutemen finished 6-4 during the safety’s junior campaign, but marched to an 11-1 mark with an undefeated record (8-0) in Watchung Football League competition, ranking fifth in the state in 2006…Greene was named All-State third-team and All-Union first-team by the Newark Star-Ledger that year, as he helped the Minutemen capture the New Jersey North II, Group IV State Championship…On defense, he delivered 117 tackles (68 solos) while returning two fumble recoveries for touchdowns…Also lettered in basketball as a junior, averaging 19.0 points for head coach Donald Stewart during Watchung-American Conference competition.
Labor Studies major…Brother, Ray Graham, is a senior tailback at the University of Pittsburgh (2009-present)…Born 2/04/89…Resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey.