Green Talks Recent Play, Weight Loss

STORY: Freshman RB Derrick Green admitted he was "nervous" before last week's win at Northwestern, he discusses his performance, his weight loss and more. W/VIDEO

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Derrick Green finally got his feature role.

It just took ten games into his career to get it.

The highly touted freshman running back rushed for 79-yards on 19 carries in Michigan's 27-19 triple-overtime win at Northwestern last Saturday. He got the bulk of the carries because senior RB Fitzgerald Toussaint was held out due to a concussion suffered in practice days before prior to the game.

While he officially wasn't the starter in the record book – fullback Joe Kerridge got the start – Green didn't know he was going to be the No. 1 option until coach Fred Jackson told him right before kickoff.

"I didn't know until the last minute that I was going to be the starting running back," Green said. "I just knew what he told me I was going to have to do, what I had to do, to help my team win."

Green, who was the No. 1 RB in the country in the final 2013 player rankings, admitted he is "always nervous" before every game but says nerves go away once he hits the field.

"Once I get that initial contact is when I start get going," Green said.

"I got to get into my rhythm (Saturday), I started to get going. I think that helped me a lot with being productive."

Green admitted he came into camp overweight at 240-pounds, but has since lost weight and is down 230-pounds. He credits most of weight loss to his changed diet and everyday life of football practice, which has helped his production on the field with his speed and power.

His weight loss was encouraged by the Michigan coaching staff, said U-M coach Brady Hoke, who also noted Green's improved play on the field.

"I think his speed in and out of holes, his acceleration, that burst you need to have," Hoke said on Green's conditioning.

Green's transformation was on full display when he broke a 23-yard run on the left sideline at Northwestern, which ended with him running over a Wildcat defender.

"It was just a good play, you know," Green said. "The play -- we needed to get down the field, to get some points on the board. It was a good run. The offensive line did their job. It just opened up.

"I'm definitely more for running people over than making that cut. So it was a lot of fun."

Now it appears his role is here to stay.

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