T.J. Green – Adding To The Family
Story provided by FanWord.com
(Feature Story for the Flames Illustrated football game day program on November 26, 2022)
Flames Illustrated Game Program (digital version)
By T.J. Green
We are here — the end of the road.
I’m in my final year at Liberty.
It’s been a lot of ups and downs, but I’m grateful for all the memories.
The good and the bad.
I will miss it all.
This place isn’t just a school to me.
And nothing matters more.
I have so much to say, but let’s start at the beginning.
My name is T.J. Green, and I am a proud momma’s boy.
I love my mother so much.
She’s not just my parent, she’s my best friend.
Everything I’ve done, all I’ve accomplished, she was by my side.
When life hit me hard, she was there to pick me up.
No one knows me like my mother, and our bond can never be imitated or duplicated.
My mom named me T.J., but I took the last name Green from my stepdad.
It wasn’t my original last name, but I changed it to Green to honor him.
It was my way of saying, “You are part of this and part of me.”
From the moment he entered my mother and my life, he’s been everything we could’ve asked for.
Tales from the Gridiron
I knew I could do something special on the football field once I reached high school.
As a kid, I played football cause I was good at it.
When I got to my teenage years, I played cause I wanted to be great at it.
I’m so competitive I wouldn’t settle for anything less than great.
I was going to take things as far as I could, and when I saw my fellow teammates move all over the DI level, I knew I could too.
I started my journey in Utah but transferred to Liberty because it aligned perfectly with my values.
It was a great Christian school with a rising football program, and I wanted to be part of the movement.
Making the decision and transitioning somewhere else was tough, but it was the best decision I ever made.
The Friends We Make
I could go on and on about what makes this football program special, but ultimately it comes down to the people.
We’ve built an unmatched culture.
We care for one another and challenge each other to improve daily.
The chemistry we have is unreal.
These are not just teammates; they’re lifelong friends. We hang out outside of football all the time.
Some of my favorite memories of this place will be laughing our heads off, getting food to eat, talking for hours after games, and bonding together during bowl week.
This love for one another translates to the football field because we can communicate so much non-verbally.
I know how my teammates think and act and when we need to address something.
We’ve built a special thing here with Coach Freeze, and I’ll likely never see anything quite like it.
The Bumps in the Road
I’ve talked a lot about the highs, but my story wouldn’t be complete without addressing some of the lows, too.
I mean, we can’t appreciate our W’s without the L’s, right?
For me, injuries have been the biggest frustration.
I injured myself in August and moved down on the depth chart.
Not much I could do.
I needed time to recover and get right, but it was still frustrating, you know?
What helped me through all this was the coaches constantly checking up on me.
I’ve heard from other people that coaches at other schools sometimes avoid you when you’re hurt.
Like they don’t care or you just aren’t a priority unless you contribute on the field.
I’m just grateful that Coach Freeze never made me feel that way.
I was always cared for and valued.
Now that I’m fully back, I have a chance to help the team.
Shedro Louis is out dealing with family things — it’s our time as a team to come together and help him as much as we can.
I try to do that with my on-field performance as well. Doing well and hopefully giving him the win.
We got his back, and that’s what we do around here.
We do our best and pull for one another cause that’s what family is for.
There may be little time left in my Liberty career, but I’m still hungry.
I want more wins, another bowl invitation, and a Senior night victory.
Who knows what will happen, but I’m sure going to give 110% to make it happen.
It’s been an incredible journey, and it’s definitely bittersweet thinking about the end.
Overall though, I’m happy and blessed.
I started this life with just my mom — since then, my family has grown.
I got my stepdad and my family here at Liberty, and now I’m ready to enter adulthood fully.
Before college is over, though, I will do what I always do — do whatever it takes to succeed.