Billy Greer knows a thing or two about rings.
The second-year Georgia Southern placekicker’s most prized possession is the national championship ring he won in 2009 at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, where he teamed with former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
Greer also is the only GSU player with a wedding ring. He and Lauren, a GSU student, tied the knot in December, 2009.
“It’s not really too difficult,” Greer said of juggling marriage with football and his studies as a finance major. “It’s nice to have a wife to go home to after practice, after you’ve had a hard practice. It’s great. She supports me a whole lot.”
Yes, Greer knows a thing or two about rings. He’d like to know a thing or three - the third being a national championship ring at the end of this football season.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound senior has kicked off 47 times this season for 2,875 yards, an average of 61.2 yards per kickoff. His booming kicks have resulted in three touchbacks for top-ranked GSU (6-0), which will play Presbyterian College (2-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Paulson Stadium.
“He’s an outstanding placekicker,” GSU head coach Jeff Monken said. “He’s not our field goal and PAT kicker, but we happen to have the very best one (Adrian Mora) in the country. But he does an outstanding job kicking off. Kicks it deep. Can put it in the air. He’s got a strong leg. He’s just a really hard-working kid. He takes a tremendous amount of pride in his job and in his role on our team. I’m excited he’s here.”
Greer, 23, is thrilled to be at GSU. Born in Jacksonville, Fla., he moved to Crosby, Texas, in 2000, when he was in middle school. Greer attended Crosby High School, where he handled kickoffs, field goals, PATs and punts, before attending Blinn College.
“I walked on (at Blinn),” he said. “Didn’t have a lot of opportunities coming out of high school. Went there. Worked hard. Made the most of it. Had a great time, and ended up here.”
Greer redshirted during his first season at Blinn. He took over field goals and kickoffs, but not punts, during the next two seasons. During his sophomore season, Newton joined the team and led the Buccaneers to an 11-1 record and a National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
“Cam transferred in from Florida, and he was just one of the guys,” Greer said. “He was one of the hardest-working guys I’ve ever met in my whole life. I learned a lot from him about what hard work really is. He’s the guy that everybody there looked up to.”
Newton, currently the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, threw for 2,833 yards and 22 touchdowns at Blinn. He ran for 655 yards and 16 touchdowns. That meant a lot of extra points and kickoffs for Greer.
“That team scored a lot of touchdowns, just like this team here,” he said. “It’s part of my job and I love doing it. The more I’m kicking off the better.”
Monken said GSU recruited Greer after watching highlights of him from his performances at Blinn College.
“Was really impressed with him on tape,” Monken said. “He had some other places that he had lined up to go and, fortunately, he decided he would come here. And I’m glad we got him. We needed a guy who could kick the thing into the end zone and kick it high and give us a chance to cover the kick. And he does that.”