Jacob Green: A Hall of Fame Life

Jacob Green: A Hall of Fame Life


He wanted to be a good player. So in order to be a good player he had to work hard. And then when he came to Texas A&M he
elevated his work to another level. He’s a man of high character, and he just so happened to have one of the greatest football careers of any player at Texas
A&M or any player in the history of the NFL. Jacob Green is a Hall of Fame human
being. You talk about a life well-lived…Jacob Green has blazed a great trail up to this point. Jacob has sure been a true role model and been an example of what a student-athlete should be. This is part of his upbringing.
This is Jacob. [Jacob:] Growing up in Kashmere Gardens was like, all my friends lived, you know, basically on that same block. And so you walk
outside, you saw everybody. But it was a fun area, it was a safe place, and you
know, everybody knew everybody. [Narrator:] Jacob Green’s story begins in Kashmere Gardens, on the north side of Houston. Jacob was just like any kid growing up,
wanting to hang out with his neighborhood friends, with sports playing
a big role. I started playing football I guess when I was probably I would think somewhere between 8 and 9. We would play in the streets because there
weren’t any fields where we could go to when I grew up. We played touch on the
concrete, tackle in the ditch, and you can imagine… His dad had a landscaping business, and one summer they had to, what do you call it, jackhammer a parking lot? And that’s where he got so strong, because he jackhammered that parking
lot and he just reshaped his whole body that whole summer. When I got back from over the summer, coach said man, you look like you got bigger. That summer meant many things for Jacob. Not only did he build physical strength, but it set up a
foundation of work ethic that would propel him forward both on and off the
football field. Jacob Green is one of the finest young men I’ve met in my 84 years. Well, one of the things, not only did he have great physical ability but he was a great person. He came from a
really good family. He had really sweet mom and dad. His dad was a hard-working
guy, had his own business. And so Jacob came up with good parental guidance and
influence and he was a really solid person. His dad taught him how to be a
hard worker. I think his dad had a good work ethic. He told him to keep working
for, you know, whatever he wanted in life and I think just by being such a good example, showing Jacob what happens when you work hard, the benefits of being successful come along with that. [Narrator:] During Jacob’s junior year of high school, he was introduced to a sophomore named Janet. We didn’t talk about football at all. I didn’t even know he played football I didn’t tell her I was football player, because, you know, I just didn’t. I just didn’t. I really liked that he didn’t tell me so I thought that was pretty good so he and I continued to talk. And then it went from there. [Narrator:] By the time his senior year rolled around, Jacob was making a name for himself on
the football field. People were taking notice. Jacob was the caliber player, he could have gone anywhere, you know. He was recruited by, everybody that recruited back
then recruited him. When I got recruited by Texas A&M that was something new for a school like coming from Kashmere. So when we started getting schools like Division I schools coming here to recruit us then they started watching football and they started recruiting Jacob. But Jacob had the opportunity to go to several different big schools. U of H, Texas, UCLA, Notre Dame…I was recruited. And I started to take these trips and I went to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, went to U of H, went
down to Texas, and I went to A&M, but after about four trips I knew I
didn’t want to take any more trips. I knew I was coming to A&M. So I just I told the
coaches, hey I’m going to Texas A&M. [Narrator:] Jacob Green became a Fightin’ Texas Aggie. However the transition to college wasn’t so easy. First year at A&M we had 13 blue-chippers coming in. And the blue chipper was a five-star guy. And so I was one of those guys. When Jacob came in to Texas A&M he was playing, but he wasn’t starting. So I think reality hit that he’s on a team now, the guys are
just as good, okay? And he’s not the big man on campus. I was getting a little frustrated and I called home and I told my dad I said hey I’m transferring to Oklahoma State, because my roommate Ed Smith had went, he left. And I said because I want to go play. And my dad said no. He said you committed, you gonna stay there and take care of your business. And I’m glad I did. I’m glad I had a
father strong enough to keep me focused. [Narrator] From there, Jacob put his nose to the ground and grinded his way to the top of the depth chart and eventually up the national ranks. Jacob was one of those guys that you love to have on your defense. If you got a guy that the other people can’t block you’re probably gonna
have a pretty good defense, and Jacob was was one of those guys. Plus he was a
vocal leader on our defense and one that that by his example and just his persona
he helped us be better on defense. [Announcer:] And the Aggies’ Mean Jacob Green made life miserable for enemy runners, winning All-America acclaim.
Jacob Green, a consensus all Southwest Conference performer along with players like Ed Pustejovsky and Gerald Carter who also received all Southwest Conference
recognition. [Narrator:] During his college career, which left him with 283 tackles, 38 sacks and an A&M school record 12 forced fumbles, Jacob had a number of outstanding games that will live on in Aggie football history. [Announcer:] The Aggies handed the Lions their most lopsided home defeat in nine years. After helping the Aggies notch a marquee road victory over 6th-ranked Penn State, Jacob again found his way into the
record books with a 22-tackle performance against Baylor. One of Jacob’s most memorable games came during his final contest for the Aggies. He made
10 tackles as A&M upset No. 6 Texas at Kyle Field. It’s a great feeling, you know. And I feel like it solved a lot of miseries that we had during the year. We were 5-5 coming in to this ballgame and to end up on a winning note, it makes anyone feel good. [Narrator:] Despite his time in Aggieland drawing to a close, the next chapter in his football career was just beginning. Jacob would be selected by the
Seattle Seahawks 9th overall in the 1980 NFL Draft. I thought when they said Washington I’m thinking wow maybe Washington D.C. So I’m on the plane, I get there, guy picked me up and I just kind of look and I saw these mountains and I saw this sign that says Seattle and I’m like State of
Washington. Huh. So I get to downtown Seattle and that’s
where it all started, you know? I’d never been there. I’m a year behind Jacob, so he went to Seattle a year before I graduated from college and my
mom decided at one time we talked about me going to Seattle when he first got
drafted but my mom was like oh no you’re gonna graduate from college sweetheart. So the year after he was on his way to Seattle with a friend driving, his rookie year, and he told me on the phone he said
you’re coming with me next time. Next time I come back to Seattle. So we’re
gonna get married. So we got engaged and we got married in May. [Narrator:] After a decade in Seattle that included great football memories and the birth of
three daughters, the Greens moved back to Houston where he helped his mother run
the family landscaping business. Before long, helping others became a calling. I started working for my sister, helping her. Janet and I actually bought a home for
teenage girls. What I did was I would do fundraising for them. I would do a golf
tournament and get the money to the home for the girls, buy beds,
whatever they needed. [Jacob:] Howdy! This has been one of the best years we ever had. [Narrator] Jacob’s philanthropic work actually began during his time in Seattle. He started hosting
an annual golf tournament to raise money for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center. I’ve been involved for many years with him, going to his charity in Houston,
and I’ve been to the one, the Hutch charity up in Seattle, and these are big
time events that have raised a bunch of money for charity. The one in Seattle is
focused on childhood leukemia and childhood cancer. He’s done some
great work up there. [Narrator:] During his time in Houston,
Jacob stayed connected with Texas A&M which opened the door to a potential
return to Aggieland. Jacob was hired by a guy named Stu
Starner, who was an incredible asset to the 12th Man Foundation. And I can tell
you right now Jacob had to be coached. But Jacob’s always had to be coached, and
he’s always been coachable, and the difference in someone who has to be
coached and is successful is that Jacob had the ability and the gifts that were a
natural fit, just like he did in football. In football he had speed, he had
power, he had size. As a fundraiser, he had a genuine interest in people. He just doesn’t have to work very hard at his job. He is so much in love with what we
do at Texas A&M that when he’s speaking to a donor, when he’s speaking to any
constituent of the 12th Man Foundation, it is clear that we’ve got a mission
that’s supported by Jacob Green. The story that doesn’t get told enough about the 12th Man Foundation and what they do is the impact they have on lives. And I
think Jacob Green is a perfect example of money that was spent years ago to
provide a scholarship and now that young man came to A&M, had a great career,
brought a whole lot of recognition to Texas A&M, and at the same time was being developed by our faculty here and our coaches here and he’s been a great
representative. It’s a great story. During his second act on campus with the 12th Man Foundation, Jacob continues to make an impact for Texas A&M and has raised
funds for nearly every Aggie athletics facility project in recent memory,
including the historic redevelopment of Kyle Field. Greatest thing that has ever happened to
me is coming the Texas A&M and coming back and working with our student
athletes and being a part of what you guys have believed in. Texas A&M means everything to Jacob Green. It’s come full circle in our life, especially with all
of our kids going to A&M, my son-in-law went to A&M. It means so much because not just the opportunity that it gave him to do the things that he’s been doing in
life, but the friendships that he’s developed, you know, tied in from what his
parents instilled in him, to the expectations of being at A&M and being an athlete. Growing up, who would’ve thought that it could happen the way it happened
and you be so in love with your university, you take pride in it and you
stick up for it and no one can ever talk bad about Texas A&M to me without
getting in a fight. It’s just not gonna happen. For the Hall of Fame to have a man of Jacob Green’s integrity, to have the Hall
of Fame to have a man of Jacob Green’s humility, does nothing but raise the
quality and class of the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame. Being able to represent Texas A&M as he does with the 12th Man Foundation and then to
represent them in the College Football Hall of Fame, I think it’s just a super
honor for him, one that he’ll cherish, he’ll be proud of the rest of his life. He is such a tremendous representative of our University and everything that we stand for, and so it just gives me great pride, should give all Aggies great pride, that he’s being honored in this way. It’s an honor for every Aggie and it’s great to see someone of Jacob’s
character that’s receiving this honor. It’s a celebration that we’re going to all enjoy, and I’m just thankful. Thankful to God and thankful for my family and friends that this day is coming. [Narrator:] from Kashmere Gardens to the College Football Hall of Fame. Jacob Green.

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