Green Blowing Up, High on OSU

Richmond (Va.) Hermitage running back Derrick Green has been one of the top prospects in the nation and Ohio State has been recruiting hard from the beginning. Now that the 2013 class has become the top priority, Green has seen his recruitment take off even more.

Derrick Green was one of the most exciting prep running backs in the country, long before schools received national letters of intent from the 2012 class on Feb. 1.

But with the 2012 largely out of the way for most programs, the recruitment of the 2013 Richmond (Va.) Hermitage running back has instantly picked up.

Listed at 5-11, 220 pounds – though he's quick to point out he's 6-0 – Green also ran a 4.31-second 40-yard dash. It is the combination of unique size and speed that has him already with 17 offers in hand, including one most recently from Michigan.

"Things have changed a lot since signing day," Green told "I have a lot more coaches coming after me and people are trying to get in touch with me. But since that class signed, a whole bunch of coaches are coming after me left and right."

Though Green wasn't able to easily produce all the schools that have recently made the effort to get in contact – there have been that many – the running back's list of scholarships will likely surpass 20 in the coming weeks.

Hearing from Auburn, Alabama and others, Green said he's been grateful for the opportunities that have already become available to him. Though Green has yet to narrow down his list of schools, he did say Ohio State has stood out.

"Of all the schools recruiting me, they're coming at me the hardest," Green said of Ohio State. "I have talked to (Urban) Meyer a few weeks ago, that was a big thing for me, and out of all the schools that have offered me they're coming at me the hardest. They've been coming to see me very often and they are showing me they really want me."

Ohio State offered Green long before Meyer took over as the program's head coach in November, but the Buckeyes have been a program close to his heart since he was a kid. Green's earliest memories of being a football fan from childhood come from sitting next to his grandfather on college football Saturdays and watching the Buckeyes.

From those early memories, Green became a fan of former Ohio State running back Eddie George, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1995 and rushed for over 3,700 yards and 44 touchdowns during his time at Ohio State.

Green, who wears No. 27 in honor of George, came to Columbus on an unofficial visit on Oct. 29 for Ohio State's win against Wisconsin where freshman quarterback Braxton Miller threw an improbable bomb to wide receiver Devin Smith to help the Buckeyes seal the last-minute victory.

If perhaps the most dramatic play in Ohio State's 2011 season wasn't enough to leave a lasting impression for Green, George was honored at halftime of that game for his pending induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Though Green could talk at length about the impact that visit had on his recruitment, Ohio State's positioning with the running back may have even improved since the hiring of Meyer, which occurred roughly a month after his visit.

"I think with the new coaching staff, it increases them," Green said. "They're coming at me harder than the previous coaching staff, which I like a lot. They're showing me a lot of love in Ohio and I appreciate that a lot."

It doesn't hurt that Green's former high school teammate, linebacker Curtis Grant, is currently a Buckeye. The two keep in fairly close contact and Green credits Grant for helping him become familiar with what it takes to be successful in high school football early in his career.

"My big brother Curtis Grant is at Ohio State and that's a big thing for me," Green said. "It is awesome that Ohio State is coming after me. I know all the big things he Coach Meyer did at Florida and he's going to bring that to Ohio State. I think being a part of his program would be great."

Green is hoping to begin cutting down his list of schools some time this summer, or at the very latest before his senior football season.

Despite being far from making crucial decisions about which schools will make his cuts – he doesn't anticipate making his final decision until his birthday on Feb. 21, 2013 – Green is already sure of at least one thing.

"Ohio State will get one of my official visits," he said. "Ohio State means a lot. Growing up Eddie George was my favorite running back and he still is today. My grandfather passed a while back, but just growing up and watching football with him, Ohio State was all it was. They just have so many things to offer and they're big on my list right now."

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