Last year John Curtis Christian High School (LA) made national news with its televised defeat of #1 ranked Hoover High School (AL), its 14-0 record and No. 2 national ranking and its Signing Day special where Joe McKnight announced for USC. One defensive standout from that team who will continue the Patriots' winning tradition in 2007, is perhaps the top defensive back in Louisiana—Robby Green.
Green (6-1, 180, 4.5) said he holds scholarship offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Clemson, LSU, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi, New Mexico State, Tulane and USC. He also expects scholarships from Minnesota and UCLA.
While spring football practices won't begin until the conclusion of the baseball season, the recruiting season has begun at John Curtis Christian. LSU Coaches Les Miles and Larry Porter recently paid a visit to Green on campus, and numerous schools are scheduled to visit this month. USC will visit on May 29.
Green noted, "At this point, I do not have a favorite school—it's all even."
When asked about his summer plans, Green indicated he would attend camps at USC, LSU and Alabama. "I will probably attend some other camps or take some visits, but I haven't decided where, yet," Green said. "I will take all of my official visits, but not until after my senior season. I want to focus completely on the season and take care of business there, and then focus on recruiting after that."
Green plans to announce his commitment at the traditional John Curtis Christian signing day event like Joe McKnight and fellow teammates did this year. Green paid close attention to the national frenzy and recruitment of last year's No.1 running back prospect, and asked McKnight for words of wisdom.
"What I saw from last year was the way Joe (McKnight) stayed humble," Green said. "All the adversity and pain he went through, all the people putting words in his mouth. I want to avoid that. He knew what was best for him and where he was going to succeed. His humility stood out. Joe told me to stay humble and stay grounded, and do what's best for you. He said there will be a lot of coaches nagging me and pressuring me, but stay humble and do what's best for you."
While McKnight's plight served as a lesson for Green, McKnight also described to Green what he thought of USC. "He said he loved USC. When he got off the plane, he fell in love," said Green. "He loved the coaches—they were cool. Everyone there is cool. He told me you won't feel uncomfortable. Just go out there and have fun."
Having visited USC once before as a freshman in high school, Green looks forward to seeing USC again this summer and seeing what the Trojans have to offer. This time he'll have Joe McKnight available to show him around town and the campus. McKnight arrives in Los Angeles (to enroll in summer school) on June 23, the day after the camp. Green said he'll stay in southern California for a few days after the conclusion of the Rising Seniors Camp.
While tradition, winning and national television appearances are something all of Green's schools can offer, what he especially likes about USC are the coaches. "Coach (Ken) Norton (linebackers) and I have gotten close over the last couple of months," Green said. Green still vividly remembers the conversation he had with Coach Carroll when he was offered a scholarship to attend USC.
"It was really exciting and he had lots of energy," Green said. "We talked on the phone and he said ‘We're offering you and will you follow in Joe McKnight's footsteps?' I told him ‘I'll follow my own footsteps and if I come to USC, I'll come my own way!' We laughed and joked on the phone, and then he said to me, ‘Come to USC and contribute—I want you to be a Trojan."
The relationship with Coach Carroll, Coach Norton and the USC coaching staff is important to Green because for him, a family atmosphere is what he looks for the most. "The perfect school for me is one where I'm comfortable with the coaches, the players and where I can relax and not be nervous or anything," Said Green. "I want to feel a perfect fit. I would want my coaches to be like a family, where I can have a bond with them, like I have at my school now."
Green dismissed concerns that distance will be a crucial part of his decision. "It's not going to be a big factor at all," Green said. "I could leave home and live anywhere in the country." The chance to play on a big, national stage also excites the defensive back prospect, as well as playing for a great fan base and a program that has all the trappings of big-time college football.
The standout defensive back was sure to point out that the academic quality of the university he chooses is also vital. "Academics are very important to me," Green said. "I want to study business, and Coach Norton said that USC has one of the best business schools in the nation. He sent me a lot of information that I can read over and study."
Studying comes rather fundamental for this 3.0 student. When asked about whom he models his game after, Green picked former NFL All-Pro Deion Sanders. Beyond liking his performance as a player, Green fervently spends time watching film on Sanders and studying his moves and his style of play. It is no surprise, then, that Green describes his game as follows: "I'm a lockdown cover corner, he said. "I like to be on an island by myself—one-on-one, just me and the receiver."
This self-assessment should be music to the USC coaches' ears, as they are looking for quality defensive back prospects this year. "They are going to put me at corner," said Green. "The coaches said last year they did not really get to recruit corners a lot with the depth they had, but this year they're going to recruit them."
With a personal goal to continue improving and to work on his closing speed and backpedal quickness, Green also has team-oriented plans for the Patriots to continue its winning streak.
"Our confidence level is really high," Green said. "So many players left from last year, so people think we're not going to be that good. Our work ethic is high and we are working hard. We all need to step up and I have complete confidence in all the players on the team, that people are going to produce. We don't expect to lose."
When asked if he'd like to see USC playing for the BCS National Championship in his backyard this season, Green exclaimed, "Oh would I! I'd love to see that!"