It may have rained out University of Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino's golf tournament on Thursday, but as far as he was concern the sun was shining on the Razorbacks.
That's because former Pulaski Academy standout and USC running back transfer Broderick Green (6-2, 248) was granted immediate eligibility to play for UA program this season by the NCAA.
"Late yesterday afternoon, I got a call from Jon Fagg – our director of compliance – and Broderick Green has been granted immediate eligibility," Petrino said, "which I am excited about and I know he is fired up about. The timing couldn't be better as far as knowing before we get started."
Indeed practice starts August 7th and Green – after a lengthy process to get an answer – knows he is ready to go from practice one after coming back to Arkansas to be closer to an ailing grandma.
"I am not surprised because I think the precedent was set where other people have been granted eligibility immediately when they had family situations like that," Petrino said. "It's not something that surprise me. I guess what did surprise me is how long it took. It is quite the process.
"You have got to take your hat off to Jon Fagg, who did all the work," Petrino added. "He got with Broderick's family and it was an extensive process that challenged your patience, but he did a great job working on it."
"You send in the initial information and they wanted more, so you answer more questions and send that in," Petrino said. "They do send something to USC to see what their stance is on it. They had a 10-day period that they had to use to reply to it. They they (the NCAA) came back and asked us some more questions. It is something that took us a lot longer than I knew it would take."
It was a win of sorts for Arkansas, who saw Michigan transfer Ryan Mallett – scheduled to be this year's starting quarterback – ask for an immediate waiver eligibility last year because of a coaching change only to have that request denied.
"I think it was different that Ryan's situation because his was a pretty right off the bat definite no, which certainly too less time," Petrino added.
Green rushed for 2.042 yards and 23 touchdowns and caught passes for an additional 545 yards and 4 scores during his senior season at Pulaski Academy.
He chose USC before that campaign over several other options – including what was lukewarm interest from the former Razorback coaching staff.
He spent two seasons at USC, where he redshirted as a freshman and then rushed 32 times for 168 yards last season, and will join a talented group of backs that Petrino has assembled.
"He gets to get in there now and compete for playing time and compete to get on the field," Petrino said. "He came in after spring ball and – like I do with every one we met one on one. He was very happy with his spring ball and really wanted to talk to me about that. I basically just said, "hey, you need to relax a little bit. I didn't give you as many reps in spring ball as I would have if I knew you were eligible and ready to go. I think we saw what you can do and I think that is the important thing – to see what a player can do.'"
Green will certainly be put to use at Arkansas, which struggled mightily getting the ball in the end zone last year on short yardage situations.
"I certainly feel like he can help us in our power running game," Petrino said. "He did really show a lot of power on short yardage and goal line running. I do think he can play full-time, too. He is a very good pass protector, he can catch the ball out of the backfield and I am just looking really forward to learning more about him."
Green was at 245 during the spring, but now has added muscle, reduced body fat and is currently at 248 per Petrino – who noted "that's a big back and I like those big backs."
"He has done a great job during the summer," Petrino said. "One of the things we talked about during the summer was getting back down to 235 because he felt like he was much faster in high school than he was at USC.
"We have reduced his body fat by quite a bit – a significant amount," Petrino said. "He has gotten much stronger and he has gained three pounds. He didn't lose any weight, but he feels much stronger and quicker."
Broderick Green, fellow transfer Ryan Mallett and Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino talk before the Razorbacks' win over LSU last season in Little Rock,
Green Granted Immediate Eligibility
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