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Former UGA star QB Greene humbled by honor

File Photo . Former University of Georgia quarterback and South Gwinnett graduate David Greene was elected to the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame 2012 class.

File Photo . Former University of Georgia quarterback and South Gwinnett graduate David Greene was elected to the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame 2012 class.

David Greene didn't move to Gwinnett County during high school, middle or elementary school. He didn't settle down elsewhere for his adult life.

Except for his brief NFL career and his time playing quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, the 29-year-old has lived in Gwinnett. He was born here, raised here and as tightly connected to the community as any top athlete the county has ever produced.

The beloved Greene, a South Gwinnett grad, said it was a no-brainer to live in Gwinnett after his playing career ended.

"In a word, it's home," said Greene, who will be inducted into the Gwinnett County Sports Hall of Fame's third class at today's Gwinnett Braves game. "It's where I grew up. I moved around the country playing sports but I decided to move back here after I was done playing.

"I love the people here. I love being a part of the community. There are a lot of great businesses here. I love Atlanta and I love Athens and we're right in the middle of both. Plus the schools are top-notch with great academics and great athletics."

After retiring from the NFL, Greene has been a regular fixture at events around Gwinnett County. He serves on the board of directors for Gwinnett County Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. He enjoys playing golf and competing for his neighborhood tennis team after picking that sport up for the first time two years ago.

He works, along with fellow Gwinnett grad and former UGA Bulldog Matt Stinchcomb, at Seacrest Partners, Inc., an insurance brokerage and consulting firm. He and his wife Veronica, also a South grad, have two sons, 4-year-old Jordan and 1-year-old Barrett.

Greene is one of Jordan's T-ball coaches at Bay Creek Park.

"Jordan's a lefty and he wears the No. 14 jersey, just like his old man," Greene said proudly.

As he gets older and more removed from football, Greene has gained a little more anonymity in public. But he still gets recognized regularly for his athletic talents, both at South and at UGA.

"I had a lot of fun with football and I enjoyed playing high school ball, at Georgia and for a short time in the NFL," Greene said. "It's something I'm proud of and I don't mind at all when people want to talk to me about it. But I clearly don't think of myself as a football player anymore. Now I'm a typical working dad. And being a dad, that's my focus."

Greene will return to the public eye today for his induction into the county's hall of fame. A good-sized group of friends and family will be there to support him, along with what should be a crowd of his fans.

They may remember him as an all-state football player at South, or for setting SEC (11,528 yards, 72 touchdowns) or NCAA (42 career victories as a starting quarterback) records. They may recall his game-winning TD passes against Tennessee (Larry Munson's famous hobnailed boot call) or Auburn (a fourth-down pass that helped to the SEC Championship Game his sophomore season).

But plenty of people in the crowd will know Greene, especially here in Gwinnett.

"(The hall of fame induction) is an awesome event, it really is," said Greene, who attended Stinchcomb's induction two years ago. "Obviously it's a huge honor. Growing up here in Gwinnett County, I've got to see all the phenomenal athletes that have come through this county. It's amazing how many great athletes are from here.

"Last year they inducted George Rogers. That's a Heisman Trophy winner. And athletes from here I've never even heard of have been in the Olympics, have been the heavyweight boxing champion. To be a part of that group, and to be in the third year, is just a tremendous, humbling honor."