- Dave Hooker, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Derrick Green isn't concerned about Tennessee's loss to Florida.
“I had a great time,” the ESPN 150 tailback from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage said after his official visit to Knoxville, Tenn. “It was my first official. ... I really enjoyed myself. I'm glad I took an official there. I had a great time. I can't say any more.”
Despite a 37-20 loss to Florida, several prospects have said they enjoyed the visit to Knoxville. Fan support has been cited as a common reason why. Green saw as much.
“The love from the fans [and] the game-day atmosphere,” Green said when asked what stood out about the visit. “I knew the game was real big but I didn't know it was going to be like that. It was electrifying. The fans started chanting my name during the game. They were showing me a lot of love.”
Green said he was taken aback by some fans who recognized him. That was especially the case when several started chanting his name in the third quarter.
“A couple of fans were right behind me [saying] 'Derrick. Derrick. Derrick.'” said Green, ranked No. 53 in the ESPN 150. “It was crazy. That was actually the first time that ever happened. ... It makes me feel real good for them to know me and for them to do that. That was just real big. That was a blessing. It was somewhat of a dream come true. I definitely liked that a lot. It was real fun.”
Despite the adoration he experienced on Saturday, Green isn't likely to take an emotional approach to recruiting. He's been much more businesslike. During the game, his eyes were focused on his potential position.
“I definitely liked the way they used their running backs,” Green said of Tennessee. “That stood out a lot ... [The running backs ran] out of the backfield, a lot of inside stuff also, sometimes on the outside.”
Green said he also was able to visit with some of Tennessee's players. He said he was impressed by the camaraderie.
“They're definitely a family team,” Green said. “I liked it a lot.”
The loss was a setback to the Vols' season, yet it didn't seem to be for Tennessee's recruitment of Green. He said the outcome of the game didn't affect his view of the Volunteers.
“I liked how they played to the end till the clock hit zero,” Green said. “I liked that a lot.”
While the gameday experience was the highlight, there was another aspect of the visit for Green to soak in. Tennessee is close to completing a $100-million-plus renovation to its indoor practice facility.
“It is unbelievable,” Green said. “It's going to be one of the best in the SEC. It's going to be beautiful. It took forever to tour it. That's how big it is. Tennessee is going to be something to watch out for. That's all I've got to say.”
Green has already forged a significant relationship with Tennessee's coaches. He met with them again on Saturday.
“They're all good,” Green said, referring to a meeting with head coach Derek Dooley, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and running backs coach Jay Graham. “They told me they definitely need a running back. I'm the guy they want. I'm the top guy on their list right now. They need a power back and they want me. Looking at the game Saturday, they definitely do.”
Green is scheduled to visit Michigan for the Michigan State game on Oct. 20. He is also considering Auburn, Ole Miss, Oregon and Virginia Tech. He has said he will definitely take an official visit to Auburn but hasn't committed to any other visit destinations or dates.