Newfield wide receiver Jelani Greene made a life changing decision after his junior year of high school football.
“I had two catches for 40 yards and a touchdown and absolutely no game tape over nine games for the colleges,” he said. “I was stuck in a school with an offensive system that made me irrelevant. There was no way I could thrive in a run-first, run-all-the-time system.”
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So he left Longwood. Greene moved to Coram and enrolled at Newfield. The rest is storybook.
Greene, who was part of a record-breaking offense at Newfield that marched to the Long Island Class II title this past season, has committed to play football for the New Hampshire Wildcats of the Colonial Athletic Association on a football scholarship in the fall.
“I love the school and the New Hampshire coaches have been very good to me,” Greene said. “I fit right into their spread offense. There’s timing to this particular passing offense and I’m familiar with it. It’s so exciting and it’s right in front of me.”
Greene earned a place on Newsday’s All-Long Island first team after a season in which he caught 38 passes, scored 14 touchdowns and amassed 1,308 all-purpose yards.
“He was the last piece to the championship puzzle,” said Newfield coach Joe Piccininni. “Jelani is a big time playmaker and he gave us tremendous balance on our offense. He’s the complete package of great hands, speed and an excellent route runner. The defense didn’t know if they should take away Jelani or Elijah [Riley] on every play. They were unstoppable.”
Greene became a highlight reel of sorts at Newfield games. His one-handed grabs, a la Odell Beckham Jr., drew instant attention.
“He was spectacular,” said Newfield quarterback Ryan Klemm, who broke every passing record at the school and threw for 30 touchdowns. “I would put it out there and he would always come down with the ball. Even in tight coverage he made the catch. He was awesome.”
With visits to Syracuse, Rutgers, Monmouth and Temple under his belt, Greene fell in love with New Hampshire.
“It’s the right place for me,” Greene said.
He seems to know how to find the right place.