Cornelius Greene

American gridiron football player (born 1954)

American football player
Cornelius Greene
Personal information
Born: (1954-01-21) January 21, 1954 (age 70)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:170 lb (77 kg)
Career information
High school:Dunbar (Washington, D.C.)
College:Ohio State
NFL draft:1976 / Round: 11 / Pick: 318
Career history
  • Dallas Cowboys (1976)*
  • Seattle Seahawks (1976)*
  • BC Lions (1977)*
  • Columbus Stingers (1977)
  • Columbus Metros (1978–1979)
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Cornelius Green (born January 21, 1954) is an American former college football player who was a quarterback for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He was the first black quarterback to start for the Buckeyes.[1]

Early years

Green attended Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., where he practiced football, basketball and baseball. He was an option quarterback that also played defense.

He accepted a football scholarship from Ohio State University to play under head coach Woody Hayes.[2] As a sophomore, he was named the starter at quarterback over Greg Hare. He was named Big Ten Conference MVP for the 1975 season, when his teammate Archie Griffin became the first two-time Heisman Trophy winner.

Green compiled a 31–2–1 record in the regular season, played in four Rose Bowls, three as the starting quarterback, won the 1974 Rose Bowl against USC, won three Big Ten championships, and led the 1973 team to an undefeated season. In recognition of his Rose Bowl accomplishments, Greene was honored with induction into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2019.[3]

Although his teams were based on run-oriented offenses, he still held the record of most career passing yards in school history for many years. He finished with 138-of-251 (55.0 percent) attempts for 2,255 yards and 17 touchdowns, while having 409 carries for 2,014 yards (4.9 YPC) and 28 touchdowns.

In 1998, he was inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Green was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the eleventh round (318th overall) of the 1976 NFL draft to play him at wide receiver. He was waived on August 23, 1976.[4] He was claimed off waivers by the Seattle Seahawks the next day.[5] He was waived again before the start of the regular season on September 7.[6] Greene joined the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League in October 1967 for a five-day tryout,[7] but did not sign a contract.[8]

He signed a contract with the Lions after the season in March 1977.[9] He was released before the start of the regular season in June.[10] He signed with the Columbus Stingers of the Midwest Football League in July.[11]

Greene played with the Columbus Metros in the Midwest Football League in 1978.[12] The Metros joined the Mid-Atlantic Football League in 1979, and he played wide receiver for Columbus.[13]

Personal life

In 1982, he moved back to his hometown of Washington, D.C., to work for the city and to manage a recreation center. He is a faculty member and multi-sport coach at St. Albans High School.


  1. ^ Hallett, Joe; Jack Torry (January 20, 2009). "Past rights, wrongs shaped No. 44". Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  2. ^ "Greene Scores 2 As Bucks Batter Illinois". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. November 4, 1973. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  3. ^ "Cornelius Greene Rose Bowl Hall of Fame". Tournament of Roses. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  4. ^ "Morris released, Blanda eyes axe". The Sentinel. August 24, 1976. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  5. ^ "For the record". Detroit Free Press. August 25, 1976. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  6. ^ Gosselin, Rick (September 8, 1976). "Player Movement Is Common For Organizing Seattle Seahawks". The Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  7. ^ "Greene, Sovio in camp". The Province. October 18, 1976. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  8. ^ Parrish, Wayne (November 1, 1976). "Well, there goes another (bleeping) season". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  9. ^ Gilchrist, Kent (March 22, 1977). "Cornelius gets the Greene light". The Province. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  10. ^ "Some cuts shocking as Lions reach limit". The Vancouver Sun. June 13, 1977. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  11. ^ Senyczko, Ed (July 31, 1977). "A new MFL returns". Lansing State Journal. Retrieved April 14, 2021 – via
  12. ^ "Caps set sights for MFL revenge". Lansing State Journal. August 18, 1978. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via
  13. ^ Coccagna, Tom (August 20, 1979). "Columbus' Cornelius Greene everything Cards expected". Public Opinion. Retrieved April 17, 2021 – via

External links

  • Greene made color irrelevant
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Ohio State Buckeyes starting quarterbacks
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Dallas Cowboys 1976 NFL draft selections
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Chicago Tribune Silver Football