South Carolina football's Sherrod Greene wants revenge vs. Georgia after season-ending injury

Emily Adams
Greenville News

COLUMBIA — Almost exactly a year ago, Sherrod Greene's season ended during South Carolina football's game at Georgia. 

The linebacker broke his ankle on the second play of the Sept. 18 matchup and underwent surgery as soon as the team returned to Columbia. This Saturday, Greene is ready to pick up where he left off when the Gamecocks face the Bulldogs in Williams-Brice Stadium (noon, ESPN).

"I wouldn't say there's nerves. If there is nerves, it's good nerves," Greene said. "I don't really think about the injury, because if you think about getting hurt, you're probably going to get hurt. That's definitely not in my head right now ... I'm just excited to play with these guys and show up."

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Last season's injury was a heartbreaker for Greene, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his college career. In the 2020 opener against Tennessee, Greene's season ended when he fractured his hip. He also missed several games, including the Outback Bowl, because of an injury as a freshman in 2017.

"It's motivation, especially since ... I got hurt against Georgia, so it's a little bit of revenge for me," Greene said. "I've definitely got a chip on my shoulder this week. I feel better than ever right now."

Now a sixth-year senior, Greene will earn his first start of the 2022 season against Georgia. He started the year behind junior Mohamed Kaba on the depth chart, but Kaba suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Gamecocks' second game at Arkansas.

"(Greene) worked hard to come back. That's not easy to do when you're coming back from multiple injuries ... but he overcame a lot mentally," coach Shane Beamer said. "I'm proud of him because he was working his way back, and in the meantime, Mo and (linebacker) Brad (Johnson) continue to elevate their games as well, so he probably wasn't in the role that he exactly wanted to be during the season, but he's continued to work and get better. I hate to see Mo get hurt, but it was good that Sherrod was able to get out there and run around and play a lot of plays last Saturday."

Fifth-year edge rusher Jordan Strachan also suffered a season-ending ACL injury against Arkansas. Strachan marks South Carolina’s third loss for the year following the preseason ACL tear of tight end Chad Terrell.

Greene is all too familiar with the feeling of being sidelined, and he said he reached out to both Kaba and Strachan as soon as he heard the news.

“I just let them know that if they need anything, I'm here for them because I know what it's like to have an injury like that,” Greene said. "I'm just making sure they stay positive ... because a positive mindset really speeds up recovery, too."

Even with two seasons lost to injury, Greene has 28 career starts and 138 total tackles under his belt. Defensive coordinator Clayton White said the adversity has forced Greene to mature, and the sixth-year linebacker has approached practice with a new passion and maturity this season.

"I think Sherrod, he knows what Mo is going through, so he's not taking anything for granted. He's locked in," White said. "I think that's the main thing that he can take from this is that he's been there before, so he knows that it can be taken away at any moment, so he's cherishing it."

Contact Emily Adams at or on Twitter @eaadams6.