ROCKINGHAM — Erran Greene said he didn’t mind spreading his wings and heading off to a distant land to attend college.
Greene quickly pointed out when he looked at all of his options, he realized he was better off staying closer to home. That’s why the two-sport athlete at Richmond Senior announced he would attend Methodist University in Fayetteville this fall.
“I was trying to get away from home. I was trying to branch out and broaden my horizons,” Greene said. “I wanted to learn new stuff, get more out in the world. But I can sneak away from campus and come home if I need to.”
Greene played football and ran track at Richmond. He was named the school’s W.T. Bellamy outstanding male athlete of the year at the recent all-sports banquet.
As a defensive back, Greene recorded seven total tackles and had a fumble recovery as a junior. Last season, Greene notched 28 total tackles and forced a fumble in eight games.
In track, Greene qualified for the state 4A meet in the 400-meter run this year. He was also a member of Richmond’s 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams that advanced to North Carolina A&T for the state championship as well.
“Erran exhibited a lot of the same characteristics in both sports,” Richmond boys head track coach and assistant football coach Eric Gould said. “He is a dedicated student-athlete. He was a grinder, especially his senior year. He understood what it meant having a great work ethic along with ability.
“In football, Erran was ready to contribute in any way to help the team. He made huge strides from the beginning of his football career to the end. He worked his way to becoming a starter by his senior year. In track, Erran was a leader by example and would be vocal when needed. He left everything he had out on the track every time. He strives for excellence in the classroom and athletically. He’s a great kid. I appreciate him for his mature approach in both sports. I’m honored to be able to have a hand in helping mold him to where he is now. A great young man.”
Greene may have circled a date on the Methodist football schedule. Not for anything negative, but because he will get the opportunity to face some old Richmond teammates on the gridiron.
Methodist is scheduled to play Guilford 1 p.m. Sept. 12 in Fayetteville. During National Signing Day, Gus Chambers, Montek Johnson and Desmond Marshall announced they would attend Guilford. Later in the spring, Brandon Greene said he would also head to Guilford.
“I feel like it’s going to be fun. Des and Montek play receiver and we always went at it in practice, so now it’s no-holds barred,” Greene said. “We’re going to see who the better athlete is for real. And Gus, he’s on defense, so we really won’t see each other. So nothing will change between me and Gus, we’re just going to be cool opponents.”
Last year, the Monarchs were 6-4 overall and 5-3 in the USA South Conference.
Greene said the Methodist football coaching staff plans to use him at cornerback because of his speed and size. The track coaches talked to Greene about remaining in the 400, but mentioned other possibilities as well.
“The 400, 200 and they are trying to put me in the 800, but I don’t really do distance,” Greene said. “They asked me about cross country…I’m going to stick to sprinting. I’m already skinny and to lose some more weight, I can’t do it.”
Greene added one of the things he wants to be known as when he gets to Methodist is being well-rounded, which is why he is attempting to play football and run track.
“I want to be seen as a complete athlete. That’s why I want to play both,” Greene said. “I think track will put me out there because track is track. I’m going to do both and excel at both of them. If you are going to play, why not do good?”
Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.