Most of the top recruits of College Football Recruiting 2013 have committed, or at least given strong indication as to where they’re heading next year. But not everyone.
The top running back in the country, Derrick Green (Richmond VA, Hermitage), has given a top 6 list, but hasn’t gone into the order. So where will the powerful 6’0” 220lb back be playing next season? Let’s break it down…
His top six, in no order, is- Ole Miss, Tennessee, Miami, Michigan, Auburn and Oregon. Green has already taken official visits to Tennessee, Michigan and Auburn, and is still in the process of choosing who get’s to play host for the rest of his visits.
What’s going to be interesting, is how coaching changes will affect his decision-making process. Derek Dooley and Gene Chizik have already been fired from Tennessee and Auburn. Now, that’s a pretty big deal, but what happens to their assistant coaches will be even bigger. The running backs coaches at UT and Auburn are Jay Graham and Curtis Loper. If the new coach being brought in lets them go, he will significantly reduce his chances at landing Green.
Green has strong relationships with both of them, and has indicated that if they are let go, he’ll more than likely drop that school. There is a reasonable chance Graham hangs on at Tennessee, but Loper will more than likely be gone at Auburn. Loper is in the middle of an NCAA investigation into recruiting violations and they are focusing on Auburn assistants. Loper and Trooper Taylor are the main coaches they’re gunning for, so I doubt the new Head Coach at Auburn will want to retain Loper, even if it means not getting Green.
Rumors have been swirling about Al Golden and the Miami Hurricanes with a potential coaching change coming. Let’s not forget the on-coming sanctions from the NCAA regarding improper benefits from Nevin Shapiro. I bet Green starts losing interest in Coral Gables. Oregon? You just know Chip Kelly will be in the mix for many vacant NFL jobs, and one of these days he’ll finally jump. Plus Oregon has an army of capable ball carriers, and Green isn’t interested in sharing the load. He’s built to be the workhorse.
So ultimately I think it will come down to Ole Miss and Michigan, mainly because of their coaching stability and their offensive schemes. If Robert Nkemdiche and Laquon Treadwell pick Ole Miss, Green might be tempted to join in the festivities and head to Oxford as well. But I think he’ll pick the Wolverines, where he’s truly a perfect fit in Al Borges offense in Ann Arbor. That offense is designed for a powerful runner to wear down defenses and open up the play-action passing game, which is perfectly suited for Green’s playing style.
I wouldn’t expect any decision from Green soon, but the coaching carrousel will have a big impact on where this stud back will play next year.