Higher power

By Shoshana Burrus
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 10, 1996

Gregory Harris
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sophomore defensive lineman Daniel Greer may consider himself a quiet man, but he makes a lot of noise on the playing field for the Arizona football team.


Daniel Greer may be a rarity in the world of college football. While many athletes are trying to find out who they are and what they want, Greer is showing that he has known all along.

He is a UA defensive lineman, political science major, proudly religious Christian - and now, a newlywed.

Yet Greer, who married his childhood sweetheart, Candy, last week, is still preparing to enter a different phase of life with his wife at his side.

"She's always been there for me," said Greer, 20. "She's supported me in everything I do for nine years. She's my best friend and she keeps me going every day."

Greer said his marriage will help him better balance things in his life.

"I'm focused on my grades and football," Greer said. "Candy will keep me on track. I know when I come home after a long day, she's there to help me."

Greer, a 250-pound sophomore, said the toughest aspect about playing college football is time management. So far, he has stayed on top of what he has to do.

He was student of the year and a Blue Chip All-American at North Salinas (Calif.) High School. Last year, as a redshirt freshman, Greer started against UCLA and played as a key reserve on the Wildcats' talented line. He finished the year with 17 tackles, 12 of them solo. He has started four games this season.

Greer easily remembers why he chose to come to the UA. He said former defensive line coach Rich Ellerson impressed him when he came to visit Tucson.

"I loved the kids and the people in general," Greer said. "I could see that Coach Ellerson was a great coach."

But Ellerson left last season to become the head coach at Southern Utah, so now Greer finds himself under the tutelage of Marty Long.

Long said he sees potential in Greer.

"He is a young player that is getting better with every game he plays," he said. "He's trying to grow into the type of player that is the total package."

Like many other college football players recruited out of high school, Greer said he knows he has an opportunity many people do not get. He said he only has a higher power to thank.

"God works in mysterious ways," he said. "God has given me a chance that most other guys don't have. I've given my life to Christ."

Aside from being a dedicated Christian, Greer said he is different from most of the players on the football team.

"I'm a quiet guy," he said. "I try and keep to myself because I know where my priorities are."

"He's an intense player that works extremely hard," Long said. "He's in studying films. He's a good student, and he's an exciting player."

Greer said another way he is different from other people his age is his religious dedication.

"I've always had the Lord in my life," Greer said.

Although Greer is hesitant to talk about future goals, such as the NFL, he did admit that playing in the professional ranks is a dream of his. Unlike many players in the NFL, he wants to use his money to help others who are less fortunate.

"It's my dream to help kids," he said. "People that have disabilities are often taken advantage of. I realize that they don't have the same things that I do. That's why I want to help them."

Greer's religious background has come from the teachings of his mother, who was once a preacher. His religious faith has shaped everything he has done.

"I let God make my decisions," he said. "My mom always told me to have faith for things not yet seen."