Until a few weeks ago, Chandler, Arizona running back T.J. Green had been enjoying a relatively quiet recruitment. Green had been solidly committed to the Oregon State Beavers since October, but an offer from the University of Utah changed all that. And after a recent trip to Salt Lake City, his decision became pretty clear.
“I knew as soon as I got home,” Green said. “It was an amazing visit, I just saw the difference in where the two programs are at (comparing Oregon State and Utah). I felt very comfortable with everything about the program, and also about them helping me get to the next level. I loved Salt Lake City. The snow was crazy, that was my first time experiencing that, and the snowmobiling was pretty as well. It was just amazing.”
Green is a 5-foot-11-inch, 185 pound running back with an incredible blend of athleticism. Ranked a 3-star prospect, he’s the top running back from the state of Arizona, which produces a plethora of strong athletes year in and year out. Green is not just a running back with speed, he’s a very versatile football player showing off an ability to catch the ball in a variety of ways.
Utah's recently hired offensive coordinator Troy Taylor recognized Green’s ability and offered the talented back shortly after being hired. “Coach Taylor, man, he knows a lot about football. It was cool getting to watch film with him,” Green said. “His offense is a lot like what we run at Chandler, the backs are pretty involved in the pass game, and here at Chandler you have to catch the ball as a running back, so I feel like I’ll fit in really well.”
It wasn’t just Coach Taylor’s offense that sold Green on Utah. Tight ends coach Fred Whittingham and new running backs coach Kiel McDonald were also big reasons in his decision. “Coach Whittingham was real cool and upfront with me about Utah, and Coach McDonald, I could tell he really made me a priority. Like the day he was hired, he came straight to Arizona to meet with me, and that stuck with me,” he explained.
The emphasis on academics was also another selling point for the Utes. “I feel like I’ll be able to succeed there as a player and as a student,” Green said. “Coach Whittingham really wants you to succeed as a student. I want to study Sports Management, and the academic support will be real nice. I could tell that academics is real important to Coach Whittigham and I liked that.”
Now that Green has committed, the Utes will look to build off the momentum built and close the class out strong. Green will continue to prepare himself for college and is very excited to be a Ute, “I can’t wait to get to Salt Lake. Go Utes!”