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Closer To Family, Wide Receiver Jabari Greenwood Finds Home At Towson

October 16, 2017
For Jabari Greenwood, the decision to transfer to Towson University wasn't complicated. 

The Washington, D.C., native and former Gonzaga College High School standout played wide receiver for two years at the University of Kentucky before he decided to transfer. 

Unlike many Division I college football players who leave bigger programs for smaller schools, Greenwood wasn't disgruntled with a particular coach and didn't have a chip on his shoulder. The junior wideout's motives were career and family-minded.

"It was a straight transition," Greenwood said. "After spring ball and after I finished the year, I knew I wanted to transfer, and I kind of wanted to come back close to home. So when I took my business around different places and I came to Towson, I liked what they were doing here and saw myself playing here."

While at Kentucky, Greenwood appeared in all 13 games during his sophomore year in 2016, with most of his action coming on special teams. He did not record a catch.

At Towson, Greenwood has had an opportunity to make more of an impact. He broke out in his third game as a Tiger at St. Francis University Sept. 16 with three catches for 151 yards during a 16-14 Towson win. Through the Week 6 bye, Greenwood leads Towson with 300 yards receiving.

However, what ultimately drove Greenwood to Towson was his desire to be closer to the support system he had growing up, mainly his father, Ronald, who introduced him to football. His father coached and helped run the youth program that developed Greenwood into the player he is today.

While at Kentucky, Greenwood said his best-case scenario would mean his parents, and maybe younger brother, could watch him play. Now, Greenwood said his grandmother and other family members can watch him on Saturdays.

"That's the biggest reason -- my family being able to come to my games," Greenwood said. "My father's so invested in my life. He's one of my biggest influences. He played a big role in everything I do."

One trait Greenwood inherited from his father was an almost business-like approach to football. So while the decision to transfer to Towson was emotionally motivated, Greenwood still saw the move as a career advancement.

"I just wanted to have more opportunities to do what I do," Greenwood said, "Catching the ball and making plays."

With this approach, Greenwood said he did not want to sit out a year after already being redshirted at Kentucky. NCAA rules require transfers to sit during their first year at a new program, unless that player transfers to a Football Championship Subdivision school. Greenwood said his only visits were to FCS schools Towson, Delaware and James Madison, but he said it didn't take him long before he decided on Towson.

"When I came and watched the film of the offense, I knew there was a lot of plays to be made for me," Greenwood said.

Greenwood said the Towson offense reminded him of a more-advanced version of the offensive system he played in at Gonzaga, which allowed him to dive right in when he arrived.

"When I first got here, they made me focus on one position, playing the 'X' receiver," Greenwood said, referring to the wide receiver position that is typically on the weak side of the offensive formation, opposite from the tight end. "Since I played that in high school, I picked that up pretty well and pretty fast. As soon as I mastered my position and learned everything I had to do at that position, that's when they started having me learn new positions and do different things. 

"When I got here, I took a lot of responsibility and went straight in my playbook and did a lot of studying. The offense is complex, but that's the way it has to be sometimes."

Greenwood said he's confident he made the right choice.

"When I first got here, it is what I expected," Greenwood said. "I'm just enjoying the process, back to playing and doing what I love to do. So, it is what it is, and my decision is my decision, and I'm going to live with it. It's been good to me so far." 

Issue 238: October 2017