Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Interview With 2013 RB Derrick Green

Two of the nation's top players were on stage when The Hermitage Panthers took on the Fork Union Military Academy Blue Devils in live action Saturday to a nation-wide TV audience courtesy of ESPNU.  Although the game showcased 2 of the top high school football players at their respective positions, Hermitage RB Derrick Green (Undecided) and FUMA's QB (Penn St. Verbal) Christian Hackenberg, it was quite the lopsided affair.  

The Panther defense would take care of Hackenberg early on, and according to Green, it was all part of the plan.  He told me, "It was a lot of preparation and a lot of film that did it. Our coaches got us ready." "The defense did a great job." "We knew if we got Hackenberg out of the pocket we could give him problems.." Problems indeed.  3rd and long was routine.  Hackenberg never had time to get set in the pocket, and he never found the endzone. It was over early.  38-0 Panthers.

The problems were not just on Offense for FUMA. On the Defensive side, the Blue Devils had to contend with new Varsity QB Niko Johnson and the renowned human "Truck with a Turbo" RB Derrick Green.  Green showed the country why he is ranked #6 in the ESPN150 and in some eyes the best "Back" in his class. With a slew of schools vying for his services, Michigan like the rest of his suitors, are hoping to hear those "sweet words".

This past Sunday night I got to chat with the Michigan Target and among other things; we talked about his big game in week 1, who he looks up to in the League, nicknames and where he stands in his college recruiting adventure.

Hoke's Mad Magicians: You went crazy in week 1..135 yards and 2 scores, whats your best game ever?         

Derrick Green: Best game...hmm..I think 18-185 3 TDs 

HMM: Did my hashtag #TruckWithaTurbo fit?

Green: <laughing> I would say so..seriously, I see myself as a versatile runner..I'm a north/south runner..I love to run downhill..I can lower my head, and can get the extra yards and do what I have to do. So yeah it fits most definitely..I back it up with the speed.

HMM: Do you have a nickname?

Green: Some people down here call me "Freight".

HMM: Freight? Like Freight Train?

Green: Yes Sir, Like Freight Train <laughs>

HMM: After seeing you Saturday, that makes a lot of sense to me <he laughs>

Green: I think its cool.  Actually my Head Coach,  Coach Kane gave it to me going into Junior Year. So now I just want to show people Im like a freight train, so from what they've seen, they call me Freight..<he chuckles>

HMM: When your QB Niko Johnson comes into the huddle, what play are you hoping he calls?

Green: I would say Zone SI or Zone SI Counter..

HMM: Now for those at home, that means the Oline is zone blocking and you are faking one direction on the hand off and then taking the cutback lane, looking for day light right?

Green: Yes sir..cutting it back and hitting it downhill and looking to run over whoever is in my way....<we laugh>.. like a freight train.         

HMM: Who do you compare your game to, in the NFL?

Green: In the League right now? LaGarrett Blount or Marshawn Lynch..

HMM: What about on the College Level?

Green: Well, right now, thats kinda hard..I would say even though he just left, Trent Richardson.

HMM: After Saturday (against FUMA), when you ran that LB over, I can see that.. <we laugh>

Green: Yeah <laughs> I didnt understand that, that LB just stepped up and I was like "what?" I had to show him what was up <laughs> he tried to test my manhood.

HMM: Okay, with that comparison to you see "Heisman" in your future?

Green: WHAT!? DO I ?!  NO QUESTION!  NO QUESTION!  No honestly, thats been on my list..Im going to get out there and go get it.

HMM: Who do you think are tougher players..Offense or Defense..

Green: That's easy..Offense. <he laughs> besides, theres 10 guys that wouldnt let me say anything else <we both laugh> yeah they would think I was a joke for saying anything else <we laugh>

HMM: Out of all the hits you have taken any stick out that shook you? Do you remember anyone laying the wood to you?

Green: <about a 5 second pause...> Um.. No, not that I remember...

HMM: Where would you vacation...any where in the world.

Green: Hawaii..

HMM: Hmmm...thoughts of a Pro Bowl? 

Green: <laughter> Most Definitely..I can see that.

HMM: When you were younger growing up, what College did you follow..any particular team you rep'ed? 

Green: Well, I grew up really liking Eddie George, so yeah, I wore Ohio St..just because of Eddie George thats what I wore growing up.

HMM: An Alum of FUMA right AND Heisman winner right?

Green: <laughs> Yeah, he is.

HMM: Michigan could use a few alums from Virginia..what do you think?

Green: <laughs> Most definitely.

HMM: I have to ask..tell me about the hair. coming from a guy that shaves his head, it's pretty awesome!

Green: <laughs> Thank you, Ummm, well I just thought of doing something different..It came about when I went up to Oregon for The Opening camp..I just wanted something different. I went with the blonde look, the "Honey Badger" look.  I had a lot of fun up there.  We did all kinds of crazy stuff, it was real fun at the Nike Opening.                                                                              

HMM: How close are you with Shane Morris?

Green: Oh..we're real close, we text back and forth all the time.  You know, Im tight with all of them, you know David Dawson, Logan Tillman, a lot of the Offense. We have gotten a lot stronger. I have a good relationship with all of them. We have a real good bond.

HMM: What do you think of that offensive line that would be coming in with you?

Green: OH MAN!  I mean, its just ridiculous..I mean, these are real good guys coming in... they're big and that's what you need.  They're physical. Like I said, I have a great relationship with all of them. When I was speaking with them when I was up there, the guys were saying "when you come in, its going to be all teed'up" and stuff like that, "its ready to go"..and thats exactly what I wanted to hear..they're real great guys and big up front, so I definitely like that.

HMM: If you do go to Michigan, are you going to sport the "Dreads" like most of the RB's are doing? like Denard, Stephan Hopkins, Vince Smith?

Green: <laughs> Nah, now I don't know about all that <laughs>

HMM: Do you think you could run as good as you do now without tying your shoes?

Green: Ummmmmm no <laughs> I dont think so..

HMM: Do people really know how crazy it is that he (Denard) moves that fast without his shoes tied?

Green: No. When I was up there and saw it, I was like Wow..thats really unbelievable..

HMM: What's your best time?

Green: 4.36

HMM: Was that on a track or grass, or turf?

Green: Turf,  but I had on track cleats, but I was on turf..

HMM: Do you have a preference? Does it matter to you, the surface?

Green: No, it doesn't matter, I can make it happen where ever I am at <laughs>

HMM: What makes Michigan so attractive to you being from the East Coast with all the other Schools around you? Whats got you most interested?

Green: Umm..definitely the recruiting..the players, the guys they have coming in.  But really, the additions of Coach Hoke, Coach know Coach Jackson. They're all great guys and coaches. I know they go about their business, and they know their stuff, they know what they're talking about and they are down to earth.  I think that really helps, and I like that about all of them.  I got to go through Schembechler Hall and I thought that was real nice. Really, really nice. I had a great time. I have been up there what? Twice now with my parents? So..

HMM: When are you going back for your Official? 

Green: The Michigan State game.  I will be taking an official visit to Michigan for the Michigan State game. That should be a good one.

HMM: Do you have any other Officials scheduled?

Green: No, not yet. But I am taking all 5.

HMM: Have you narrowed your schools down to a Top 5?

Green: No, not yet.

HMM: But Michigan is on the schedule for you already?

Green: Right.

HMM: Xbox or PS3?

Green: PS3 for sure.

HMM: What games?

Green: Anything you want, name it we can do it..<laughs>


Green: I don't think you want any in that  NCAA < we laugh>

HMM: Who do you play with?

Green: I play with Michigan mostly but I'll play with Clemson, Georgia and sometimes Oklahoma..

HMM: I saw you won the Heisman at Michigan already in the game..

Green: <laughing> yeah I have..

HMM: Tell me something about you that most people wouldn't know..

Green: I'm a family man.  I love my family...spending time with them anytime I am not playing, and I love my dog. I love all kinds of pets.  I have a poodle <laughs>

HMM: What's your favorite food?

Green: I like Crab..thats my favorite.

HMM: How about the future, if you are not playing football for a living what are you doing, what do you want to be when you "Grow Up"?

Green: I'm thinking about the League, I want to play in the NFL..but you have to get a good education. I want to be a Sports Psychologist after football. 

HMM: Wow! Sports Psychology??

Green: <laughing> I know, I know, but you know the NFL stands for "Not For Long" so have to have a plan.

HMM: Speaking of the League, who's your team?

Green: I'm from Brooklyn originally, so I have to go with the Giants.

HMM: Who's your favorite player in the NFL?...Current player.

Green: Marshawn Lynch

HMM: Past player?

Green: Eddie George..for sure. I used to wear his shirt.

HMM: Favorite "athlete"?

Green: LeBron.  Not a Heat fan or Cav's fan, whatever. Just a LeBron fan.

HMM: Any crazy rituals you do before a game or any superstitions?

Green: I always pray in the end zone before the game, and I wear the same socks every game.. I listen to Meek Mills on the headphones getting ready. It gets me going.

HMM: Before we let you go, want to make a pick for the Michigan and Alabama game?

Green: <laughs> hmmm, I like Michigan in the upset.  

HMM: Alright! I like that pick! Thanks for the interview Derrick, I had a lot of fun talking with you.  I will keep up with you and keep in touch through out the season.  I appreciate the time. We will have to get on the sticks sometime and see what's really going on!

Green: Most definitely! hit me up. I had fun! thanks a lot, it was good to talk to you! Go Blue!


ESPNU gave the Michigan faithful something to dream about, wish for AND "look forward" to on Saturday when they gave us a look into Virginia High School Football.  Green made it a point to make Wolverine fans dream about him in a "Maize and Blue" uniform and to wish for those beautiful words "I'm taking my talent's to Ann Arbor"..(umm sorry LeBron)

Fork Union has produced 2 Heisman winners, in Eddie George and Vinny Testaverde. Green is intent on adding the coveted trophy to his list of achievements like his favorite former player. When I asked him if the Heisman was in his future...He just laughed in this way that he does and said "Of course!! its been the plan the whole time!" and you know what?  I just might have to believe him..THAT is what WE ALL can look forward to.

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