Photos courtesy of Ethan Greenidge

Walking through the hallways of Riverhead High School, it’s hard to miss 16-year-old Ethan Greenidge who stands 6-5 with a seven-foot wingspan and weighs 315 pounds. Now only if it was that easy to get noticed on the football field. He’s the prototypical Division I lineman with the speed, quickness and strength to succeed at a high level. His goal this year is to be hard to miss on the football field.

“I want to be the most dominant player on the field at all times,” Greenidge said. “And I’m not even trying to be cocky. It’s just what I have to do to get noticed. I really prepared for this season.”

Greenidge is entering his senior season and he has yet to secure a scholarship. He places much of the blame on himself. Though many schools are interested, none have formally given him an offer.

“It’s hard to really get seen out here,” head coach Leif Shay said. “A lot of these schools aren’t willing to travel so far to see a kid play. When you live in a place like Long Island, you have to be the one putting yourself out there.”

Greenidge received interest from big Division I schools like UCONN in his sophomore year but never kept in contact, an essential part of the recruitment process. He just assumed they’d keep in contact, only to realize later on that because he didn’t keep up, they gave up. What school is going to stay interested if the player shows no interest in coming there, he admits. In order for a school to offer a scholarship, they have to be sure that the player is at least considering their school.

“I didn’t really understand the recruiting process,” Greenidge said. “It’s just as much about me as it is about them. You have to definitely keep in contact with them. You’re not the only one getting recruited. They have plenty of others in mind so you have to make sure they know your name.”

2014 0903 greenidgeSince he lost contact with many, he had to start over. At the end of his junior year, after he sent out his highlight tape, he started to build interest again. Though the schools interested didn’t compare to the ones he once had, bumping it down one level to Division I-AA, he’s still confident he can land a Division I offer by the end of the season.

He’s currently trying to touch base with FAU, UCF and UCONN once again.

Over the summer, he was asked by numerous schools to attend their camps so he picked a few and gave it his all. Among those he attended were camps for Villanova, Stony Brook and Liberty.

A camp is basically a high school combine where the athlete will participate in the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, vertical leap, drills and strength work.

Villanova, a Division I-AA school, is very interested, according to Shay.

“The kid weighs over 300 pounds and moves like he’s 250,” Shay said. “Of course schools are interested.”

“They thought I did really well,” Greenidge said. “I left the camp feeling really confident.”

Shay believes that it’s only a matter of time before Villanova offers him a scholarship.

“Once Villanova offers a scholarship and other schools see that, everyone else will too,” Shay said.

Others have told Greenidge that they will offer a scholarship based on his performance in his final season. Because the recruiting process got going kind of late, a lot of schools haven’t really made a final verdict on him. Once he gets a few games under his belt to create another highlight tape, teams will see the strides he made in the offseason to get his body and mind at an elite level.

“They want to see me continuing to run people over,” Greenidge said. “I have to do what I have to do. ”

So now the waiting game begins.

“I”m trying to wait it out a little bit to see if I can get a higher caliber team,” Greenidge said. “I know what I’m capable of doing. I’m willing to wait until the end of the season.”

“Colleges are eager to see me,” he continued. “And I’m not going to disappoint.”

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Michael Hejmej is a freelance writer, real estate agent and native of Riverhead.