Derrick Green keeps every school on an even playing field

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- One of the running backs who stood out at Day One of The Opening was Richmond (Va.) four-star Derrick Green. Showing off a nice burst for a player of his size and soft hands during drills, the affable back was just soaking up the moment as he competed amongst 150 of his highly regarded peers.

"It's a blessing first of all," Green said. "There are a lot of top guys out here so it's nice to come out here and compete with some of the top guys in the nation. It's very nice and I'm having a great time out here. I'm just enjoying the process."

The 6-foot, 215-pounder received his invite to come out West a while ago and though it was a new world for him out on the fields at the Nike campus, he was able to get a little bit of a heads up as to what to expect during the five days of The Opening.

"I spoke with Brionte Dunn, who went here last year," Green said. "He told me it was great and he had a good time and that he got some top notch stuff and so did I. It's just awesome and I'm still taking it all in."

Green recently cut his list to 13 schools after holding close to 40 offers by the time July came around and listed Tennessee, Michigan, Oregon, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Clemson, Alabama, Miami, Pitt, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma as programs under consideration (in no order).

"Every one is standing out, that's why they made the list, it's a very even top 13," he said. "First and foremost, I'm looking for academics. I told my mother I'd get my degree so academics is first. Depth chart, atmosphere, the type of offense the school runs… lots of stuff.

"I'm going to try and narrow my list down again before the season starts. But as far as where on my officials, I don't know right now."

The Virginian will head to Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss later this month on unofficial visits and is looking for a few things on each stop.

"I want to speak with the head coaches all those schools, see the facilities, how I feel with the atmosphere," said Green. "I'm also going to Michigan for that barbecue they're having. I know going there I'm going to speak with the head coach (Brady Hoke) as well. I went there before but I didn't get to speak with him, so that's the big thing this time.

"(Offensive lineman and Michigan commit) David Dawson, I know that's what sold him. Shane Morris, the head coaches, they sold him. So I definitely want to sit down and speak with (Brady Hoke)."

Green's recruitment will likely run all the way until Signing Day and since picking up offers early, he's heard just about every pitch from college coaches. As to which one was the most pressing or unique, the No. 4 big back in the class of 2013 had a laugh before responding.

"I won't say what coach it was but I heard one coach say, 'If you come here, you're guaranteed a starting spot,'" he said. "I don't' believe that or any coach tells me that. I know wherever I go I have to compete and get that starting spot. That's what I'm going to do."

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