Shayon Green is the Heart and Soul of the Miami Defense

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Most every College Football player walks on campus as a freshman believing in their abilities to the point they have convinced themselves they are bulletproof.

Some continue their super human efforts almost effortlessly. Others realize they have a lot to work on their game if they want to contribute to their team.

And then there are those who just can’t buy a break…

Or better yet, seems to find too many of them at the wrong time and in the wrong place…

That is the storied career of LB Shayon Green for the Miami Hurricanes up until the 2012 season.

In Green’s Miami career, he twice tore his right ACL, the meniscus in his right knee and dislocated his wrist causing him to miss most all of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 season. That is four major injuries over the span of three season.

But not only did Green put that in his past in 2012, he looked like the Six Million Dollar Man as he led the ‘Canes in tackles with 67 while playing injury free in all 12 games.

For his moxie and efforts, Green was named the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2012 Brian Piccolo Award co-winner.

“(Shayon) Green is an amazing individual with an unparalleled work ethic,” Head Coach Al Golden said. “I cannot think of anyone who exemplifies the ideals of Brian Piccolo or is more deserving of this award than him. He has overcome a dislocated wrist and three separate knee surgeries to become our leading tackler and team captain. His commitment and perseverance is an inspiration to us all.”

And that inspiration is something that will carry over even more as the Red Shirt Senior prepares to lead his defense to greatness in 2013. Surviving his trials physically and coming back possibly even a better player is something that can’t be taught when it comes to leadership training. And the things he learned and the discipline he understands will undoubtedly flow through the rest of his fellow teammates on both sides of the ball.

So who ever lines up against the Hurricanes in 2013 but better make sure you know where No. 51 is on the other side of the ball…

Because he’s tested and isn’t scared of anything staring back at him at the line of scrimmage…

And that’s a huge bonus as Miami looks to return to the greatness of the old school “The U” defense in 2013…


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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