For Jonathan Greenard, when the clock ran out and the Florida Gators celebrated a nice 36-28 Orange Bowl victory over the Virginia Cavaliers, it was all over. The All-American linebacker would never don the orange and blue uniform again. His college football career was finished.
It feels like just yesterday that Greenard showed up in Gainesville to lead the SEC East defense to new heights as a graduate transfer. Just like that, in the blink of an eye, it’s done. But man, did he make an impact.
After transferring from Louisville, the 6-foot-3, 263-pound Greenard was a force for head coach Dan Mullen all season long. He recorded 52 total tackles, including 15.5 TFL and 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, recorded an interceptions, and had four more pass breakups.
That was just his first and only season with the Gators, and earning All-SEC and All-American honors are his legacy. Now, it is time to say goodbye.
Jonathan Greenard Says Goodbye to College Football
A Hiram, Georgia native, Greenard proved to be a special player all season long.
He had two tackles for loss in his Gators debut against Miami. He compiled a season-high nine tackles against the Georgia Bulldogs. He recorded a season-high 2.5 sacks against Florida State and an astonishing 5.0 TFL against Missouri. He made his only interception against Towson.
Greenland was a nice player for the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC before his injury. He took that to a completely different level playing for UF defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, though.
The NFL Draft is next, but he had to write a letter before he could officially move forward.
“Before I move on to the next chapter of my football career, I wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks to both the University of Florida and Louisville and all of the people involved with both programs, from the training room staffs to the academic counselors and the entire support staffs. They have helped me in so many ways to prepare for the NFL and beyond.
“I would like to thank Coach Petrino, Tom Jurich and Vince Tyra for the opportunity at Louisville and for supporting the decision I made to continue my education and playing career at Florida.
“I want to thank Coach Grantham and Coach Mullen for pushing me to get better every day and play to the Gator standard. I want to thank my Gators teammates for believing in me and accepting me. I love them like brothers and will always been there for them.Advertisement
“I also want to thank the Gator Nation — it was awesome to represent you all and it was a honor to play in front of you every Saturday.”
— Jon Greenard
It might have been a short career at Florida, but Greenard did the most and certainly set the gold standard for what the Gators defense should look like in the future.