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William Green (American football)

William Green
No. 31
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-12-17) December 17, 1979
Place of birth: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Absecon (NJ) Holy Spirit
College: Boston College
NFL draft: 2002 / Round: 1 / Pick: 16
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 46
Games started: 29
Rushing yards: 2,109
Rushing attempts: 568
Rushing touchdowns: 9
Stats at
Stats at

William Green (born December 17, 1979) is a former American college and professional football player who was a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for four seasons during the early 2000s. He played college football for Boston College, and received consensus All-American honors. The Cleveland Browns chose him in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft, and he played for the Browns for his entire pro career.


  • Early years 1
  • College career 2
  • Professional career 3
    • Cleveland Browns 3.1
    • Comeback attempt 3.2
    • NFL statistics 3.3
  • Personal life 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early years

Green was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His early life was fraught with problems. His father was a heroin addict who died of AIDS when William was 12 years old. His mother died of the disease a year later after being infected by his father. After his parents' deaths, Green was separated from his four siblings.[1]

Green attended Holy Spirit High School in Absecon, New Jersey, where he played for the Holy Spirit Spartans high school football team and received multiple high school All-American honors.[2]

College career

Green received an athletic scholarship to attend Boston College, and played for the Boston College Eagles football team from 1998 to 2001. In two years as a starting running back, he compiled over 2,700 yards rushing and 32 touchdowns. He was a first-team All-Big East Conference selection in 2000 and 2001, was honored as the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, and was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American in 2001, after receiving first-team honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), The Sporting News, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football News and Pro Football Weekly.[3]

Professional career

Cleveland Browns

In the 2002 NFL Draft, Green was a top-rated player. However, two college suspensions for marijuana use hurt his stock on draft day.[4]

Cleveland selected him as 16th overall pick in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2002, Green appeared in all 16 regular season games and started ten of them, gaining 887 yards and scoring six touchdowns. His 2003 season, however, was fraught with turmoil. After a good start with 559 yards, Green was arrested for drunk driving and marijuana possession. Green was also notoriously seen wearing one shoe and one sock during the arrest.[5] The arrest led to a four-game suspension under the league's substance abuse policy. While under suspension, Green's fiancee, Asia Gray, stabbed him in the back during a domestic dispute.[4] The league extended his suspension through the end of the 2003 season "for treatment purposes."[6]

Green tried to get back on track in 2004, but gained only 585 yards. That year he was also ejected prior to a game with the Pittsburgh Steelers for fighting with linebacker Joey Porter.[7] Around this time, he had disclosed that he was having a child with a woman other than his wife.[8]

His final season in Cleveland was an injury-plagued 2005 campaign where he appeared in eight games and gained only 78 yards. The Browns placed him on injured reserve at the end of training camp in 2006 and reached an injury settlement with Green allowing them to release him.[9]

Comeback attempt

In March 2008, it was reported that Green would attempt to play in the NFL again after two seasons out of the league. He worked out at his alma mater Boston College's Pro Day on March 19,[8] showing up in "great shape," bench-pressing 225 pounds 25 times and posting a 42-inch vertical leap, but also ran a 4.85 forty yard dash. As of 2015, he has not returned to the league.

NFL statistics

Rushing Stats[10]
Year Team Games Carries Yards Yards per Carry Longest Carry Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
2002 CLE 16 243 887 3.7 64 6 38 3 1
2003 CLE 7 142 559 3.9 26 1 30 5 2
2004 CLE 15 163 585 3.6 46 2 30 3 2
2005 CLE 8 20 78 3.9 17 0 4 0 0
Career 46 568 2,109 3.7 64 9 102 11 5
Receiving Stats[10]
Year Team Games Receptions Targets Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
2002 CLE 16 16 - 113 7.1 18 0 5 1 1
2003 CLE 7 10 - 50 5.0 12 0 2 0 0
2004 CLE 15 14 - 84 6.0 17 0 3 0 0
2005 CLE 8 5 - 30 6.0 14 0 0 0 0
Career 46 45 0 277 6.2 18 0 10 1 1

Personal life

Prior to his 2008 NFL comeback attempt, Green became a Christian. He became a motivational speaker at corporate, church, and school events. His speeches are typically about forgiveness and overcoming struggles. In 2012, he became an ordained minister.

He is the father of eight children, seven with his wife, Asia Gray, and one from a previous relationship. All eight children live with him and his wife on a four-acre property in Berlin, New Jersey.[1]


  1. ^ a b Anwar S. Richardson, " From draft bust to ministry and motivational speaking: The redemption of William Green," Yahoo Sports (May 1, 2014). Retrieved August 1, 2014.
  2. ^ William green player profile, National Football League Players Association. Accessed July 23, 2007. "Hometown: Atlantic City, NJ... Earned All-America honors from Super Prep, Tom Lemming, National Recruiting Advisor, RivalNet, Prep Star, Parade and Blue Chip Illustrated and was rated among Super Prep’s National Top 50 (third-rated running back on the magazine’s dream team), in addition to being a consensus all-state selection at Holy Spirit (Atlantic City, N.J.) High School."
  3. ^ 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 11 (2011). Retrieved June 24, 2012.
  4. ^ a b , Associated Press, Accessed on, 11/21/03Fiancee held for stabbing Green in back
  5. ^ , CBC Sports, 11/29/03Browns Green pleads not guilty to driving, drug charges
  6. ^ , BBC Sport, 12/3/03Green ban goes on
  7. ^ Robinson, Alan (2004-11-17). "Cowher wants to rein in Porter - Fight draws $10,000 fine".  
  8. ^ a b , Yahoo! Sports, 3,17,08Former Browns RB Green attempting comebackJason Cole,
  9. ^ , Cleveland, 9,8,06Browns, Green part waysZac Jackson,
  10. ^ a b "William Green Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 

External links

  • Boston College Eagles bio
  • Cleveland Browns bio
  • Motivational Speaking website
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