Green Shines in U.S. Army All-American Bowl

In recent years we have turned on the TV the first Saturday of January to watch a Stanford commit at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Today's game in San Antonio had the Cardinal community focused on special teams with #1-ranked kicker David Green on display. His field goals set a USAAB record, while kickoffs and punting also impressed. The specialist's performance could scarcely have been better.

While the East struggled to move the ball most of the game, West kicker and Stanford commit David Green took the early lead with a pair of field (22 and 28 yards).  He chipped in an extra point as the West extended to a 13-0 lead and then added a 37-yard field goal late in the second quarter.  Though Green kicked field goals and PATs from a tee in high school, he struck these balls on the ground and effortlessly placed them down the middle of the uprights.

Green's 10 points outscored the entire East team, and his three field goals were a U.S. Army All-American Bowl record.  The West scored one touchdown in the second half and opted for a two-point conversion.  There were no other field goal opportunities, with the West offense stalling or turning the ball over the rest of the game.  The West dominated the East by a 24-7 final score.

Green was one of the top producing performers on either of the star-studded rosters, but he could have showed still more if not denied other opportunities.  Green did not record a punt until the second half, with a pair of West turnovers as well as other factors foiling him in the opening two quarters.  The first fourth down of the day for the West offense came inside the East 40-yardline, but they instead threw the ball on 4th & 14 and managed to draw a pass interference penalty.  The next punting opportunity drew an off-sides on the defense.  The West's long snapping had been an issue during the week in practices, and this snap bounced five feet in front of Green.  He still managed to get the ball off when it should have been blocked, but the penalty was accepted and resulted in a first down.

Already leading 16-0, the West had the ball one more time off an East turnover, with just eight seconds left before halftime on the 32-yardline.  The West was in scoring position, but they took two shots at the endzone and passed up a 49-yard field goal opportunity for Green.  Notre Dame commit Jimmy Clausen threw an interception on the final play.

When Green finally had his chance to punt in the second half, he launched a beauty.  From his own 45-yardline, he rocketed a punt that sent the East punt returner backpedaling to his 10-yardline, unable to field the ball which dropped and bounced sideways out of bounds at the nine.  46 yards, no return, dropped inside the 10.  Quite a trifecta for Green's Army All-American punting debut.

His second punt was less impressive, traveling just 30 yards, though Green did kick out of his own endzone.  It was his and the West's final punt of the game.

The final area of Green's game is the piece which typically garners the least attention: kickoffs.  He told us prior traveling to San Antonio that it was a big adjustment for him to not only kick field goals off the turf rather than a one-inch tee, but also to strike kickoffs on a one- rather than a two-inch tee.  Green's leg did not carry any kickoff on the day into the endzone on the air, and that tells us that he can improve his leg strength.  He did put two kickoffs into the endzone after bouncing just ahead of the goalline, with dynamo Noel Devine running one of them back 87 yards.  Green had an angle and opportunity on the sideline to stop the return 10 or 15 yards sooner, but to nobody's surprise the kicker could not begin to chase down the nation's most explosive high school senior.

Green's other kickoffs went to or inside the five-yardline, but more revealing was his directional kicking.  Several kickoffs were hit toward the right corner with precision, though the first kickoff of the day did roll out of bounds at the two-yardline before crossing the goalline.

After a season of sour special teams, Stanford has to be jubilant to start the New Year witnessing this performance by their commit and's #1-ranked kicker in the nation.  David Green looks ready to have an impact kicking in his first year on The Farm.

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