Better than Expected

Making his fourth campus visit in the last few weeks, Hermitage (VA) four-star running back Derrick Green walked away from the University of Wisconsin - after talking with Montee Ball and Russell Wilson - impressed with what the Badgers have to offer.

MADISON - As he took some time during his flight layover in Chicago to contemplate what he would be experiencing on his visit to the University of Wisconsin, four-star running back Derrick Green knew he would get an opportunity to tour the campus, see the facilities, speak to the coaches and get a chance to sit down with Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball.

As he waited for his flight and thought about the Badgers, Green got his first indication that it was going to be a good trip.

"I actually ran into Russell Wilson at the airport and got to speak to him for awhile," Green told Badger Nation. "It was really cool and really unexpected. I went over to go speak to him and he actually knew who I was."

Both Wilson and Green are from Richmond, VA, and went to high school just seven miles apart (Wilson went to Collegiate HS while Green attends Hermitage HS), meaning Wilson could give some East Coast insight on how the city of Madison and his experience compared to back home.

"He told me how great of place it was and how much it reminded him of home," said Green. "He said the atmosphere is great and definitely said that it's a school that there's a lot to like about."

Once he got to Wisconsin, Green – 5-11, 220 pounds – spoke highly of his time touring the campus and the facilities. He also met with academic advisors and talked with some other players, but nothing compared to sitting down and learning about Wisconsin's running back tradition from senior Montee Ball.

"Oh man, it was great," said Green of his conversation with Ball. "He's a great guy and I had fun. We talked a lot about the recruiting process. He talked about how much work he put in, how he gained weight to be more effective and how he studied film. I took a lot away from him."

Green also spent time with running back coach Thomas Hammock – Green's recruiting contact whom he calls ‘real cool' – and met with UW coach Bret Bielema.

"Both guys said they like my style of running and that I would fit into the offense (at Wisconsin)," said Green. "Both said they would be happy to have me as a part of their family.

"I definitely can say (the visit) was better than what I expected. I just had a great time."

Green is still in the process of going through his 23 offers (and counting) and taking visits. In the past two weeks, Green has visited Clemson, North Carolina and North Carolina State and will visit Michigan this afternoon.

Rushing for roughly 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns during his junior year, despite rarely playing in the second half of games because of blowouts, Green plans to make a top five before his senior season starts and take his official visits before making a decision. Asked if he plans to comeback to Wisconsin to take in the atmosphere Wilson and Ball spoke so highly about, Green didn't hesitate.

"Definitely, yes," said Green. "I want to continue building my relationship with the coaches."

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