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September 17, 2012
Five-star running back details official visit
Five-star running back Derrick Green had been on Tennessee's before, even for a game. But, his time at Tennessee for his official visit over the weekend gave him a lot to think about moving forward in his recruitment.
The nation's top tailback spent his time taking in the game-day environment and left saying the Vols made a good impression.
"Definitely," Green answered when asked if the Vols helped themselves with him. "That was my fourth visit and I had a great time and I could tell they needed a running back. The game atmosphere was just unbelievable. It was electrifying and I had a great time on my visit."
The 6-foot, 220-pound running back was able to speak to Jay Graham before the game and then was able to take in some of the special events on campus.
"I got there and I got to speak with my position coach and the head coach and of course I got to see the game and that was exciting and fun and I got to spend some time with the team and I got to go to ESPN Gameday and that was exciting."
Graham and Green have grown close over the last several months and that's a big reason why he's high on the Vols.
"We have a great relationship," Green said. "He's been recruiting me a long time. He wants me and they need me. I'm the guy they want and he made that clear. It's always good talking with me."
Green said the two biggest things that stood out to him during his time on Rocky Top was the appreciation from the fans as well as the family atmosphere around the team.
"Definitely the love from the fans. They were showing me a lot of love while I was up there for the weekend," Green said. "The atmosphere and the team was like a family. I can just see myself fitting there. It was great.
"I love it. It's definitely a blessing and a dream come true. Taking pictures and signing a lot of autographs is amazing and a blessing. My first autograph was to a Tennessee fan and they have showed me love for a long time. They were even chanting my name during the game too."
The environment within the team was something that especially stuck out to Green and it was something reflected both on and off the gridiron.
"Just being with the teammates and seeing how they were when they were all together there wasn't a problem with how they communicated on and off the field and I could definitely tell it was a family atmosphere with the team," Green said.
When it came to the game, Green watched how Tennessee utilized its running backs and believes he would fit right in.
"That was the main thing I was looking at, how they utilized their running backs and how they run their offense and I could see it was for a power back like me. But, looking at the offense was one of the main things for me," Green offered.
Tennessee's coaches agreed with Green's statement, letting him know he would not only fit in the Vols' offense but that they needed him to.
"They were definitely just telling me how much they need and want me and that I'm one of the top guys on their board right now and they were just telling me how much I fit in their offense," Green said.
Green doesn't have any trips planned until he goes to Ann Arbor, Mich., to see the Wolverines play in the Big House in October.
"I know my next visit is going to be the Michigan-Michigan State game on October 20. After that I don't know what else is planned, but that's what's next right now," Green offered. "I'm just focused on my team and trying to get back to state."
A possible early enrollee, Green said he doesn't have any leaders and that he's letting the process play out.
"Not right now. I'm just going to visit schools and I don't have one right now," Green said.
Asked if the Vols would be in it until the end, he left no doubt in his answer.
"No question about it," Green said. "They have the coaching staff, the academics and the atmosphere. They have the offense I'm looking for and I really liked what I saw. They were getting the ball to their backs. They didn't get the W like they were hoping for but they battled to the end."