“I was dead serious. I wanted the College of Engineering. I wanted to see it all.” – Jarvis Green, LSU Construction Management Alumnus
Jarvis Green, a two-time Super Bowl champion, former LSU defensive end, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for New Orleans Shrimp House, Donaldsonville, LA native and LSU Construction Management alumnus, talks about his experience as a student athlete at LSU, and why forgoing his construction management degree to join the National Football League was not an option.
Why did you choose LSU over other universities that tried to recruit you?
My biggest thing was engineering. I was always into building things, creating things, hands-on work. Growing up in my house, my dad was always doing construction; just heavy work, tough work. I wanted the engineering thing, and LSU was the best school for me because it was close to home, local and a state school. I felt at home with the coaches and other recruits. I saw so much in the Construction Management program, too. I talked with the Dean of the College. I sat in front of the computers and listened to them say, “This is where you’ll be for study hall.” LSU took time out of the day to show me these things. A lot of athletes, they didn’t care, but I was dead serious. I wanted the College of Engineering. I wanted to see it all.
What is one experience that you will always remember from your time at LSU?
It was the Construction Management convention in Atlanta, Georgia. There were about 20 to 24 of us who went on the road trip. We had so much fun. We shared a lot of stories, and we learned so much from the convention. Most importantly, I learned how to network at the convention. That’s what I remember the most and what is helping me today. It all goes back to the classroom.
What was the biggest challenge of being a student athlete?
Time management. We had a twenty-hour workweek, and with football you have all kinds of bumps and bruises, and you’re tired. Being in engineering, I still had to walk into my classes everyday. The professors didn’t treat me any differently than any other students, and I didn’t receive any favors. I talked with all of my professors, went to get their help during their office hours, and I took advantage of the student resources. I felt that I earned respect from the professors as a student athlete.
What did you take away from the College of Engineering, collectively?
At the College, there are a lot of professors. The level of dedication from the professors was so impressive. They made it known that they wanted their students to be successful.
In 2002, the New England Patriots drafted Jarvis Green in the 4th round draft pick. During his time with the Patriots, he won two back-to-back Super Bowl championships in 2004 and 2005. After seven years with the Patriots, Green had short stints with the Denver Broncos and the Houston Texans, where he finished his NFL career.
How was the transition from college football to the NFL?
It was stressful. I was working out in Dallas and training for the draft. I had six hours [of coursework] left to receive my degree. I told my agent, “I’m going back to LSU. I’m going to graduate because, if I go to the NFL, it’s going to be hard for me to come back.” I went back to Baton Rouge and started studying while also training for the NFL. At the end of the day, I knew I would have a better situation with my degree and would be able to use it one day.
How have you used your degree since leaving the NFL?
I currently work for AECO Interiors of New Orleans, an engineering company based out of Florida. We provide construction in ceilings, floors [and] walls, and [we do] specialty construction. I also work for New Orleans Shrimp House. We provide our customers with fresh shrimp straight from the Gulf of Mexico.
In your off time from football, you started The Jarvis Green Foundation. Why did you feel it was necessary for you to have community involvement?
I wanted to leave a footprint in the community. I wanted to give back to single, disadvantaged mothers. The foundation has helped 500 single moms with tuition, clothes and supplies.
Thanks to his Construction Management degree from LSU, Green maintains a successful career with AECO, an engineering company in New Orleans. He has also found success as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the New Orleans Shrimp House, a wholesale shrimp outlet in the Crescent City. Green remains very involved with his community and is proud of his LSU roots.