Love it. Green has a special blend of physicality and athleticism that will serve him well at the next level. I remember back to the 2015 Nike NFTC in Chicago that featured numerous future D1 linemen, and Green was the OL MVP at the event.
Also, I'm a huge fan of high school wrestlers as D1 football players, especially along the line. Guys like Green understand leverage and how to gain advantageous position on the guy across from him. His film speaks volumes to that.
Tale of the Tape:
For a guy who spent a majority of his career as an offensive lineman, was recruited predominantly as a center, Kendrick Green may be one of the most intriguing, yet high-ceiling, defensive linemen in the region, if not the country. Green, who, as I mentioned earlier, is a successful high school wrestler, is a tenacious warrior in the trenches who doesn't care how big the guy across from him is.
I love his ability to shoot gaps and shed blocks utilizing his unique athleticism. His hand placement on offense is also reflected in his ability to hand-fight blockers away on defense. He was successful all year in penetrating offensive lines and causing disruption in the backfield, possibly no more successfully than he did in the state championship game against Vernon Hills.
What you don't see on the tape, though, is how much of a leader Green is. On a team with offensive talents like QB Coran Taylor and Geno Hess, Green, a lineman, was the captain, the leader, and the one to which his peers looked when they needed guidance. Green is a central Illinois kid who got an offer a little later than expected, but realized the opportunity that lies before him at Illinois.
How He Fits:
Right now, Jamal Milan is the best three-technique defensive tackle Illinois has. Because of that, he has had to take extended snaps, and in his absence at times, the line hasn't functioned the same. Green brings a unique skill set to the position that will help give the Illini some major depth at that spot.
Green is a bit undersized at about 275 pounds, and likely will keep his weight down during the wrestling season, but he's more than athletic enough to carry an extra 15-20 pounds at the next level and maintain his quickness. He will give Illinois an interior pass rush that has been lacking for some time now (probably since the Corey Liuget years) and pair well with other young defensive tackles like Milan and Kenyon Jackson.
As mentioned earlier regarding Green's character off the field, he's a natural leader, a relatively home-grown kid, and the type of guy who brings a certain swagger to the program. Much like Kendrick Foster brings a local enthusiasm to his play, Green will likely do much the same, taking pride in playing for his home-state school, which was a big factor in him saying yes to Illinois and declining opportunities at other schools with which he had longer-standing relationships.