Stephen Green - Safety - 6-0, 175, 4.43 - Little Rock, AR (Pulaski Academy)
If you were to look at the record for Pulaski right now, you would say it isn't bad, but it's not that good. 1-1 is never what any team wants to be, but any team doesn't have Pulaski's schedule.
In fact, you can pretty much write off that loss, because that loss not only didn't come to a school in their league (3A), but it came to the number one team in the state, rated as one of the better teams in the country, perennial powerhouse, Springdale high school. The blanking by Springdale wasn't fun, but in the end, it wasn't that big of a surprise.
The following week though, evidently the coach (the person who scheduled the games) not wanting his team to get spoiled, after facing the defending state champion in 5A, the largest classification for Arkansas, they faced Stutgard high school, the defending state champion in 4A. That came out a bit better for Green and company, Pulaski pulling a blanking of their own, defeating Stutgard, 20-0. After such a huge loss against Springdale, the questions about their emotional state for the second state champion they would face were quickly answered. "Our coach said that, that was the most emotion he had ever seen by a team he had ever coached." Stephen said. "We were ready for that game and there was no way we were losing."
Two defending state champions faced and what do you know, they have the defending state champion in 3A coming up today as they face Warren.
Well, there's no question about the challenges Stephen and his team have faced already and have yet to face this year. Just chalk that up as another one, the other being the ultimate decision on where he's going to go to college.
Being ranked as one of the top 10 safeties in the country, the interest in that very subject has only gained interest and Green has already had at least a good statistical start thus far. "Against Stutgard, I had like 10-15 tackles, 2 pass deflections and an interception and I had like 15 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown." Green said. As for his stats against Springdale? "I don't remember those." Green said laughingly.
What Stephen is taking a little more seriously, albeit with very little sense of urgency considering the time of year is the recruiting process, a process that's slowly but surely heated up for the Arkansas standout. And yes, the obligatory question that has been asked of Green and will continue to be asked is, is there anything that will keep him from going to the Razorbacks.
Coming off of their victory over the Texas Longhorns, that certainly couldn't of hurt their recruiting image to prep-stars around the country, least of which are those inside the state's borders. "It was nice." Green said of the victory. "They played a great game and it was great to see."
His own elation and pride as a native of Arkansas aside though, Green is still adamant that his choice of school won't stem from the pressure to stay in-state, rather the pressure he puts on himself to make sure that wherever it is, it's absolutely the right choice for him. "I've said it before, but I know I have to keep saying it." Stephen said. "I'll go wherever I feel that's where I belong. It doesn't matter where it is. If it's Arkansas, great, but if I feel more comfortable someplace else, that's where I will go."
"I know everyone around here wants me at Arkansas and some actually expect it, but I'll make the choice that's right for me. Until I visit a place, everyone is the same right now."
As to those visits, Green said he doesn't have a solid list of where he's going, but he has an early small list of the most likely candidates. "I don't know that there are any schools where I can say I am definitely taking visits there, but those that have a really good chance right now are Nebraska, Arkansas and Iowa." Green stated.
You can take a look at Stephen's list to figure out the likely candidates for the rest of his visits, should he decide to take them all and the time-frame behind those visits could be a question as well. "I have heard that if we go really deep into the playoffs, that could cause a problem with visits." Green stated. "So, I might take some during the season, but I don't know right now."
Stephen said that he hasn't narrowed his list to any five particular teams as of yet.
Steve Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 402-730-5619
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