Ethan Greenfield’s choice of position at North Central is paying off
NAPERVILLE — At some point in a football career, a player must decide what position he wants to play full-time if he wants to continue rising in the sport.
Ethan Greenfield is one of those players who faced that choice when he arrived at North Central College as a freshman.
A Lindenhurst native, he played linebacker and safety at Lakes High School but was also a running back his senior season, so he had a choice when he began his collegiate career with the Cardinals.
“When I came here, coach (Jeff) Thorne asked me what position I wanted to play in and I told him wherever the team needed help and it ended up running back,” Greenfield said. “Glad he kept me there because it ended pretty well.”
That may be an understatement for the senior running back, who is one of the most prolific at his position in college football and is considered by many to be the best in Division III.
Before North Central’s game against Millikin on Saturday, Greenfield has rushed for 5,352 career yards with a 7.3 per carry and 127.4 per game average. He led Division III in rushing in 2019 and 2021, including a 2,169-yard season this 2019 season when the Cardinals won the national championship.
His 138 yards and three touchdowns against UW-Whitewater earned him the title game’s Most Valuable Player award.
Ahead of Saturday’s game against Millikin, Greenfield has 670 yards in five contests in 2022 with a career-high per carry average so far of 8.2 with 11 touchdowns. He broke the CCIW conference record for his fast-paced career and is once again in contention to lead the nation in that category.
Crediting his teammates in an interview with WGN News Now, Greenfield specifically praised the offensive line for assisting his highly successful career.
“I’m very grateful,” Greenfield said of the decision to play running back and the results of the past few years. “If you’d told me five years ago that with what I’ve done in the program I’m where I am now, I’d have a little bit of a hard time believing that, just because sometimes you’re a little bit about yourself doubting myself , but the best was brought out of me by my teammates and my coaches and I’m very happy to have been kept where I am to help the team and help us do what we did to have.
“It’s been an amazing journey and I’m glad it turned out that way.”
Larry Hawley had more on Greenfield in this week’s Campus Check-In on WGN News Now, and you can watch it in the video above.
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