Until this weekend.Treyvon Green, a two-star running back, gave Northwestern the backfield commitment that had been missing from this stellar 2011 class.
Ah. Feels good to finally exhale.Green, a 5-9, 195-pounder, becomes the Wildcats' first '11 running back commit – and 13th overall – after a handful of misses with other recruits. Add to those misses some other backs who are adamant about waiting until their seasons are over to make a commitment, and the running back vacancy in this class was looking bigger and bigger.
Luckily for NU, Green didn't feel like waiting."It feels good," Green, from Rowlett, Tex., told Purple Reign on Sunday. "A weight's been lifted off my shoulders, definitely. Now I can focus on my senior season."
As a junior, Green split carries yet still ran for 974 yards and 16 touchdowns. Along with Northwestern, he had official offers from Memphis, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky, and ULM. He was receiving interest – but no offer yet – from Arkansas, Nebraska and Baylor.He made stops at Arkansas, Wake Forest, Duke and Memphis this summer. And while he still hasn't visited Evanston, Green felt comfortable enough with the coaches and situation at NU to commit.
"They are very good academically and they have a good football team," Green said. "They made me feel comfortable, but I still want to see campus this fall."While Northwestern's spread offense is an enticement to receiving prospects, a carry-hungry running back could, in theory, be turned off by the specter of such an aerial assault. Not Green: he is confident that he'll get his touches.
"As a running back, I can run out of any offense," Green said. "We run that (the spread) a little bit in high school. In the past (Northwestern has) been successful in the run, so I know they're not just going to pass the whole time."Green's commitment does a lot to allay concerns over the dearth of backs in this 2011 recruiting class.
Savon Huggins, a five-star recruit and the No. 6 back the 2011 class, was considering Northwestern and had even made the trek to Evanston. However, he nixed NU from his list of suitors in July. Four-star prospect Justice Hayes was another back that the Cats were after, but the Grand Blanc, Mich., native – who was high school teammates with current Cat Tony Jones – recently chose Notre Dame.Remound Wright (Stanford) and Tom Smith (Tennessee) are other one-time recruits who have committed elsewhere.
Along with those RBs, Northwestern has offered a few others who are steadfast in their desire to wait until their seasons are over before making a decision: Denver native Adonis Ameen-Moore and Texarkana, Tex., native Tra Carson, both three-star backs, say they are holding tight until winter.Northwestern didn't nab a backfield commit in 2010 until Adonis Smith decommitted from Washington State and pledged to NU – and that wasn't until January. Actually, that's not entirely true. NU did get a running back commit before Smith: Shontrelle Johnson committed in June, but decommitted in December; he ended up at Iowa State.
With running back decommitments having been a benchmark of the 2010 class – after all, NU's first commit decommitted from Northwestern, and its final commit decommitted from someplace else – Purple Reign asked Green if this commitment marked the end of his recruitment. Now that you're committed, is your recruitment closed? Are you going to still see other schools and talk with other schools, or does this mean it's over?The answer is one that may not sit so well with NU faithful because, really, there was no answer.
"I can't really answer that right now," Green said after a second's pause, declining to elaborate.Well, at least Green is committed now, and after a trip to Evanston, which he's planning for the fall, his tepid answer about closing his recruitment could well be moot.
After some waiting and some misses and some more waiting, NU's got its running back.You can comment on this story at the Ryan Field Message Board. Also, feel free to contact Purple Reign at email@example.com.