COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Just over 12 years to the day, Boardman graduate John Greco lived out his dream. The Valley football standout was selected by the Rams in the NFL Draft.
“I was the second pick in the third round. So, right off that bat, I was able to enjoy the day, enjoy the process,” Greco recalled.
Following three years in St. Louis, the former Spartan was traded to Cleveland. He spent the next six years of his career with the Browns, playing just over an hour from Boardman.
“Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have the most team success with wins and losses,” Greco said. “We obviously didn’t come out on the right side of things a lot of the time. I would love to have won those games for the city. I know how much those fans want to see the team win. Being there and going through that, I feel like I have a deep connection with the team.”
As he looks back, he says his favorite teammates include his fellow offensive linemen from the 2014 team. That includes future Hall-of-Famer Joe Thomas, and Joel Bitonio who still plays in Cleveland.
Greco is now a father of three, entering his second year of retirement from professional football.
“When I was able to wake up on Monday morning and have no stress, my body felt good,” Greco admitted. “I know I made the right decision. But now, being almost two years removed, it is a little different. It feels like… man, did I play 11 years? It doesn’t seem like I did. When I watch the games now, I’m a fan.”
Greco is a fan who still roots for the Browns.
Despite playing out the final two years of his playing career in New York, he remains steadfast… the Valley is always considered home.
“I had a lot of fun. I won a lot of games in high school and then I went on to Toledo and won a lot of games there and had a lot of fun. So, unfortunately for me, I did all of my winning the first half of my football career and not too much in the pros. But I still had fun,” he added.