The third time was no charm for former Riverhead star offensive lineman Ethan Greenidge.
The Villanova senior — a player thought likely to reach the NFL — suffered through Saturday night as Stony Brook came back from down three touchdowns to eke out a 29-27 win at LaValle Stadium. He also didn’t like the outcomes the other two times he played on the Stony Brook campus. His Blue Waves lost consecutive Long Island Class II title games to Carey and Garden City.
“Maybe it isn’t the luckiest place for me, but I liked everything leading up to the game about coming back to Long Island. I loved being home,” said Greenidge, who is 6-4 and 329 pounds. “I’m all about seeing my family and being back where I come from.”
Greenidge, who also played basketball at Riverhead, is considered a potential draft pick or free-agent signing because he has developed superior footwork that he can employ on either run blocking or pass blocking.
“More of the development of my footwork could be about losing weight because it seems the more you lose, the faster you get,” he said. “I was 360 as a freshman and while I was considered quick for my size, that’s still 360. At this weight, I move better.
“I’ve been dreaming about the NFL since I was little and I never really considered it real until recently,” he added. “But for right now, I am just playing for Villanova and I am not going to let anything take my mind off it. If I do well here, things will work out.”
Greenidge, a product of Flanders, is the venerable veteran of Villanova. He was a starter as a freshman and hasn’t yielded since. Wildcats second-year coach Mark Ferrante has called on him to play both left and right tackle depending on where he is needed and underscoring his versatility.
“I like being in that role,” he said. “You’re a senior and you’re mastering all aspects of the game mentally and physically and you can be a leader.”
While playing at Riverhead, Greenidge considered staying at home and playing for the Seawolves. “I’ve followed them since I was 12 and I went to some games," he said. "But when it came down to it, I felt Villanova was the fit for me.
“That said, I respect what the Island has done for me.”