Vader Green, a former star at St. Petersburg, knows a little bit about being a great running back, and he knows his son Ryan is on the way to becoming one.
“Have you seen his highlights?” he asks, and the answer is yes.
On them, the St. Petersburg Catholic junior-to-be is bursting through traffic and into open space and on his way to the end zone.
Last year, he proved himself as a big-play running back, and one of the future stars of the 2013 class. He has great vision, shifty hips and put-away speed.
The offers are most definitely coming.
But Green, who is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, is not sitting back waiting for them.
Two weeks ago, he earned camp MVP and Combine King honors for the sophomores at the National Underclassmen Combine at Northside Christian.
At the NUC camp, he ran a 4.6, which for him was an off day. He posted the best vertical jump at 33 feet, 5 inches. His shuttle, broad jump and bench press numbers were some of the best.
He is attending camp at Florida State and a Top Gun camp in Virginia, and has plans for the Elite Scouting Services camp in two weeks at Armwood.
Following a breakout season during which he ran for 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns, Green is hoping to build on his growing reputation.
“This spring I’ve been working on my speed and agility,” said Green, who is also running track. “I can see people starting to recognize me more. My goals are to get faster become a better leader and just work hard at everything I do.”
In a cavalcade of college correspondence, Green has received letters of interest from Wisconsin and Oregon, and says his favorite school is FSU, followed by the Ducks, Georgia, UCF and Texas.
Dad is carefully orchestrating his son’s entry into the recruiting pool.
When the former star running back was leading the Green Devils to the state championship game in 1984, there was no Rivals.com or Scout.com, or camps, combines and 7-on-7s.
“Back in the day, the coaches came to the game, or they saw the stats in the paper, that’s how you got known,” Vader Green said. “Now, there’s so many components. You can’t blame your coaches. You have to be proactive. It’s going to cost you a little money. But you spend a little now, or spend a lot later.”
NUC HIGHLIGHTS: Green was one of many locals to shine at the NUC camp.
Armwood running back Greg Newton was MVP of the 2014 players at the combine, with East Lake lineman Mason Cole earning Offensive Line MVP and Middleton’s Jalen Woodall getting Linebacker MVP.
Green was Overall MVP of the camp, but Middleton’s Richard Benjamin was named WR MVP for the 2013s as well as fastest man, posting a 4.53 time in the 40.
Largo’s Harry Brown was co-MVP for linebackers (and ran a 4.68), Admiral Farragut’s Toddrick Macon was running back MVP and East Lake’s Pete DiNovo was quarterback MVP.
In the 2012 class, the overall MVP was Armwood defensive back Jarvis McCall, who is having a huge spring.
Canterbury running back Brent O’Neal, continuing his impressive run of camps this spring, was named co-Combine King, and St. Petersburg Catholic’s Toddren Macon made it a family sweep of running back honors as he captured that position’s MVP award for the juniors.
Dunedin’s Anthony Diviney was named quarterback MVP.
IGNITE HIGHLIGHTS: The second annual Bright House Sports Network Ignite Combine was held last weekend at Skyway Park in Tampa, with an MVP selected at each position.
The picks as chosen by the evaluators were Freedom’s Jon Economou (QB), East Lake’s Artavis Scott (WR), Jesuit’s Travis Johnson (TE), Plant City’s Dazmond Patterson (RB) and Jalen Butler (LB), Newsome’s Keith Weeks (OL), Plant’s Antonio Crawford (DB) and Hernando’s Malcolm Hudson (DL).
KEEP AN EYE ON: ...Gulf's Ty'Shon Peters, who says he is attending Virginia's Orange-Blue spring game this weekend.
Peters is a pure athlete, a quarterback in the past but a wide receiver or cornerback at the next level. The Bucs 5-10, 205-pound junior said he has also been invited to Florida, FSU, Miami and Oregon, and while yet to land a scholarship offer thinks he is getting closer.
"I'm really confident,'' says Peters, who adds that most schools are waiting for him to bring up his test scores before offering.
Peters, who attended the Under Armour All-American combine in January, said he will be attending the Elite Scouting Services combine at Armwood on April 10, hoping it could be his breakout event.