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Top Sports Stories 2019: Riverhead grad plays with Saints


As a student at Riverhead High School, Ethan Greenidge was a standout lineman for the Blue Waves football team and track and field athlete. He helped guide the Blue Waves to back-to-back county championships.
He earned a scholarship to Villanova University to play football. For all those accolades, few might have imagined that just four years after graduating from Riverhead, Greenidge would be in the trenches blocking for Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and the rest of the New Orleans Saints.
As his college career progressed, Greenidge became a more and more likely NFL prospect. At 6-foot-4, 335 pounds, he had the size and smarts to play multiple positions on the offensive line. And by the time he graduated Villanova, he was still just 21 years old.
Last April, Greenidge hoped to hear his name called on the final day of the NFL Draft. And while that didn’t happen, he immediately had offers to sign as an undrafted free agent. He chose the Saints.
For most undrafted rookies, the NFL journey ends in training camp when teams begin trimming their roster ahead of Week 1. As the Saints made each round of cuts, Greenidge survived.
Despite dealing with a minor injury in the preseason, Greenidge impressed the coaching staff enough to earn a coveted spot on the 53-man roster. The Saints have been on the league’s top teams at 11-3 through Week 15 and will be among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Greenidge hasn’t seen the field just yet in a regular game. Teams can only dress 46 out of the 53 players. So Greenidge has been inactive throughout the season until they played the 49ers in a memorable game Dec. 8. Greenidge was active for the first time and available to play, although he did not see action.