Marshall’s J.J. Green learned a lesson the hard way, a lesson that took him away from playing spring football with the Mavericks this year.
“Everybody learns from their mistakes and it’s something I won’t do again,” Green said. “It was hard. It was real hard.”
When the fall rolled around, Green was glad to be back on the field with his teammates.
“I was happy because I felt like I failed my team, like I failed as a person,” the senior quarterback said.
“J.J. has had a lot of life happen to him the last five months,” Marshall’s first year athletic director and head football coach Jake Griedl said. “When life happens and you own it, deal with it, face it and overcome it, you naturally grow up, so I think this fall we’ve seen that so far in terms of his practicing and things off the field. As coaches, we hope we continue to see that because the sky’s the limit for him.”
Green said he hopes to take those lessons he’s learned from his mistakes and help teach them to his teammates.
“I just want to set a good example for the younger ones and try to do this thing, try to take it all the way,” Green said. “I basically want to teach them to never give up, no matter what happens, never give up. I’d say I’m more of the type that when somebody sees me doing something, they want to do it, type of leader.”
He added the game of football has taught him many valuable life lessons.
“It taught me how to be a man, I would say, teaches me great things in life, how to keep my head up and keep going,” he said.
Green and his Mavericks are set to take the field at Maverick Stadium when they play host to the Tyler Lee Red Raiders. When asked what his expectations for the season opener are, Green responded with one letter – “W”.
His expectations for the year are the same and his goal of nothing short of a state championship and not repeat what happened last year when the Mavericks suffered a crushing defeat in the third round against the Huntsville Hornets.
“I’ve been real ready because I refuse to go out like that my last year,” Green said, adding that he has improved from a year ago. “I’d say my game has improved a lot because the time I was away from football, I feel like that was the time I was recovering myself. I’ve gotten stronger.”
Green, who has several college offers on the table, has several memories of being a Marshall Maverick.
“My highlight would probably be that play with Tahj (Washington),” he recalls fondly. “It was against Sulphur Springs my sophomore year. It’s crazy because when I was doing it, I looked and it seemed like I could see everything, like everything slowed down in my head.”
However, he’s hoping to save his best for last.
“J.J. has an opportunity this year to be really special, probably break every passing record that’s ever been set here,” Griedl said. “He already holds the single-season-passing record. He’s got an opportunity to break the all-time-passing record as well. He’s a natural-born leader. He’s got to fill those shoes and lead that way, which we know he can. He showed glimpses of that. His play is naturally going to lead the way because he’s talented but we need that to translate to him being more vocal and what not.”
Green will suit up for his first game of his final season Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.