Tampa Catholic's Christian Green searches for right comfort level

Tampa Catholic’s Christian Green, who visits Florida and FSU this month, has a father who went down the recruiting trail.

WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Tampa Catholic’s Christian Green, who visits Florida and FSU this month, has a father who went down the recruiting trail.

Hiram Green focuses less on X's and O's, depth charts and BCS possibilities than he does off-the-field comfort when providing advice about recruiting to his son, heralded Tampa Catholic football standout Christian Green.

"I tell him, 'Christian, you need to go where you're going to be happy.' " the elder Green said. "With the college experience, sports is a big part of it. But it's more than that. You meet people. You go out. It's probably going to be where you meet your wife. You have to take all these things into consideration."

On this subject, Hiram Green knows his stuff.

He isn't a father living vicariously through his son, a consensus top-100 national recruit who will play receiver in college and lists Florida, Florida State and Georgia as his leaders; he's a guy who was once a highly recruited athlete.

As a dominant 6-foot-8 power forward at Polk County's Bartow High in the late 1970s, Hiram Green was among the state's most sought-after basketball recruits and landed scholarship offers from schools such as Kentucky, Clemson and Oklahoma.

Ultimately, he chose lightly regarded USF.

With the upstart Bulls, then a member of the Sun Belt Conference, Green thought he could help put the program on the map. But more important, on his recruiting trip to the school he found a place he could see himself calling home.

"I could have gone to bigger schools at that time," Hiram Green said. "But I was happy here. When I came here, I knew it was the right fit for me."

Little did he know just how right it would be.

Throughout high school and during his USF career, Green suffered from constant knee problems. When he was a Bulls junior, a doctor gave him a choice: keep playing and he might not be able to walk by age 40, or quit.

He chose the latter.

"It was a tough decision," Hiram Green recalled. "I played basketball. That's what I loved to do. At the same time, I was at a place I felt very at home at. Because I was comfortable here, it wasn't as bad as if I would have been at a place I hated."

How much did Hiram Green love USF?

He graduated in 1982, and began working at the school the following year. With the exception of a four-year stint in which he worked for the Florida Classic, Green, who currently works in communications, has been a USF employee ever since.

"He always tells me you have to go where you feel comfortable, to go where I'd be happy if I couldn't play," Christian Green said.

The younger Green, who is visiting the Gators this weekend and will visit FSU in two weeks, has taken his father's words to heart.

Of his three top college options, he said, "I feel comfortable at all of them."

SHORT STUFF: The Armwood football senior most likely to sign with a four-year school on national signing day, WR Richard Jules, is visiting Division I-AA Gardner-Webb (N.C.) this weekend. He's also considering Stony Brook (N.Y.) and Towson (Md.), which also play at the I-AA level. … According to Rivals.com, Hillsborough DB Terrence Mitchell, who committed to Florida State on Friday, is rated as the Seminoles' third-best pledge.

Have an athlete, in any sport, who should be featured in our recruiting notebook? E-mail Keith Niebuhr at kniebuhr@sptimes.com.

Tampa Catholic's Christian Green searches for right comfort level 01/16/10 [Last modified: Saturday, January 16, 2010 10:42pm]

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