Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Derrick Green plans official, more in works
By Dave Hooker
Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) is ready to move onto his official visits -- if only he knew where all he was going.
Green, No. 53 in the ESPN 150 and the nation's No. 6 RB, said he'll take an official visit to Michigan for the Michigan State game Oct. 20. That's hardly a surprise, considering Green has always spoken highly of the Wolverines. There was even speculation this summer that he could be close to committing to Michigan. Then the battle for Green got slightly more interesting.
“I know I'm definitely taking all my officials,” the four-star tailback said. “I'm taking all five.”
Green said he is planning official visits to Tennessee and Auburn. The Volunteers would make a lot of sense since they need a power tailback, which they haven't had in years. Tennessee's main concern seems to be proving that the program is on solid ground after finishing 5-7 last season in coach Derek Dooley's second year.
The Auburn Tigers look ready to pounce, especially when a picture of Green holding a Heisman Trophy showed up in an Auburn locker room. Green just said the Tigers are “even” when compared to the competition.
A visit last weekend seemed to help the Tigers' chances. Green already has a good relationship with coach Gene Chizik and associate head coach Trooper Taylor.
“I got the same feeling the first time I went,” Green said, referring to a summer visit. “I felt comfortable around the coaching staff and the players.”
In addition to the connection Green has with Chizik and Taylor, the 6-foot, 215-pound tailback has a growing relationship with running backs coach Curtis Luper. The two visited last weekend to discuss how Green would be used in Auburn's offense.
Green has long said he wants to go to a program intent on running the football. Auburn coaches told him they'd do just that, mostly out of the I-formation and single back, to best capitalize on his speed and power.
Georgia, however, did much of the same during a visit to Athens last weekend to check out the Bulldogs. A major aspect of the visit was a conversation with running backs coach Bryan McClendon and coach Mark Richt.
“It was a pretty good visit,” Green said. “I had a real good time. I got to see the campus.”
In fact, as far as offensive schemes are concerned, neither school was all that different from the other.
“They're both pretty similar,” Green said. “It's zone (blocking) and power (running) and stuff like that. I can get to the outside linebacker. I'm definitely an outside runner.”
Green said the depth charts at either school wouldn't be a concern despite the fact that Georgia signed two highly-touted tailbacks last year: Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Auburn has a commitment from four-star tailback Jordan Wilkins.
The remaining schools in the running for Green are Oregon, Ole Miss and Virginia Tech. They, along with Georgia, had better secure an official visit soon. Three are already taken.
“I know I'm going to cut my list down again,” Green said, “but I don't know when.”