Nobody comes into college expecting to become a role model. People like former Slippery Rock football standout Shamar Greene who come to college with a goal in mind and a drive to finish their goal are the ones that people inherently look up to. It is people like Shamar Greene that become role models.
Greene went to West Mifflin high school, where several other future SRU players are from. Greene came to The Rock in 2012, originally as a walk-on, and redshirted as a freshman. Greene quickly showed that his determination and work ethic made him one of the most talented players on the SRU roster. He started nine of 11 games as a redshirt-freshman in 2013, leading the team with 129 carries and 727 rushing yards.
Greene went on to tally 1,482 yards in 2014 and 1,545 yards in 2015, winning the conference championship both years. Entering his redshirt-senior season, Greene ranked second in school history in rushing yards, with the record within his grasp. 2016 did not go as he expected however. Greene was only able to play in five games due to injury, totaling a career-low 521 rushing yards on 92 attempts. Despite the disappointing 2016, Greene was still able to take over as the school’s all-time career rushing leader with 4,275 career rushing yards.
Greene did not allow his injury to affect his academics, however, participating in SRU’s commencement ceremony this past winter.
From coming into the program as a redshirt walk-on in 2012 to leaving with a scholarship, a school record, a couple of championships rings and a degree makes Greene’s story one of Slippery Rock’s best.
Slippery Rock associate athletic director, Torry Rollins, said that Shamar is a shining example of how athletes should handle themselves, both on and off the field.
“It’s very important, because athletes are seen as role models whether they want to be it or not,” Rollins said. “For someone like Shamar to do that is amazing. His role on campus goes beyond athletics. You hear terms like “dumb jocks,” but her took academics very importantly.”
Senior accounting major Ronnie Johnson said that Shamar was a role model for him and other African-American students to look up to at The Rock.
“It doesn’t just affect us, but the community,” Johnson said. “It gives kids watching something to look up to. It gives other African-Americans, like myself, something to look up to.”
Greene probably did not come to Slippery Rock expecting to become a role model for other African-American students around him but like Rollins said, athletes are role models, whether they want to or not, and there are not many better choices for role models other than Shamar Greene.