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Monday, November 12, 2012
Green swaps finalists and talks visits

By Dave Hooker

One school is out and one is in as Derrick Green breaks his silence.

Talking to ESPN for the first time in more than two weeks, the ESPN 150 tailback from Richmond (Va.) Hermitage said he's no longer considering Virginia Tech and is now interested in Miami. That's a change, as Green had long said the Hokies were among his finalists, which now are Miami, Michigan, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oregon and Auburn, where he is taking an official visit this weekend.

When asked what he wanted to see at Auburn, Green said, "Just during the game, to look at the coaching staff and the way they're coaching. See up close the way they run the ball. This is my first game day at Auburn. I'm definitely looking at that."

Auburn is 2-7 and 0-6 in the SEC headed into their Saturday evening game with Georgia. Reports have indicated that head coach Gene Chizik might not be retained if the Tigers don't finish the season strong.

"I'm not worried about it at all," the nation's fifth-highest rated tailback said of the turmoil. "I spoke to the coaches. I know the situation. At my position, at running back, they need one so that's a plus for me. ... They told me nothing's changing. They're all still going to be there."

Playing in Auburn's favor is running backs coach Curtis Looper. He and Green have grown close throughout the recruiting process.

"He's a great guy as well as a great coach," Green said. "I speak to him often. He's just a great guy overall."

Green's most recent visit was to Michigan on Oct. 20. Michigan has long been a strong player for Green. He has said he likes a power running game, which the Wolverines can offer.

"It was a good trip," Green said, referring the visit in which Michigan beat Michigan State 12-10. "The game-day atmosphere was amazing. I had a real good time. The fans gave me a lot of love. That was my first game day there. I had a good time."

When asked where the Wolverines stood among the competition, Green said, "They're definitely up there, no question. I have a good relationship with the coaching staff. I've been there more than once so they're definitely up there."

Green's scheduled official visit to Oregon on Nov. 16 has been postponed. He said he'll take the trip after the season. Green said he'd also like to take an official visit to Miami as well.

"Throughout this whole process, they've been recruiting me hard," Green said of the Hurricanes. "I've been talking to the running backs coach [Terry Richardson]. We've built a real good relationship. Looking at the running back position there, that's a plus. I feel like I could get a chance."

Green said he's long been a fan of the Hurricanes and admired how the program has sent so many players to the NFL. Another school that Green is considering, Tennessee, has done that as well.

Green took his official visit to Knoxville in September. The Vols, however, are struggling this season with a 4-5 record. That doesn't seem a bother.

"I speak to the coaching staff often," Green said. "I have a good relationship with all of those guys. I've been there more than once. On my official, I had a real good time. They're definitely up there as well."

Green has rushed for approximately 1,300 yards and 20 touchdowns this season despite often being pulled from games in blowout situations.