Scouting Report: Derrick Green

Submitted by Magnus on August 1st, 2012 at 7:09 AM

This morning I posted a full scouting report on Richmond (VA) Hermitage tailback Derrick Green.  This will probably be my last scouting report for a class of 2013 kid, unless some new offers emerge for the class.  Most people expect our last spot(s) to be taken by Green and/or LaQuon Treadwell, although I'm not confident we'll get both.  In the coming weeks, I'll probably move on to 2014 kids.

Anyway, Green is a very solid running back.  I don't think he's the top running back in the nation like Rivals does, but I can't argue too much with the sites who think he's among the top six or seven guys.



August 1st, 2012 at 8:30 AM ^

Biggest negative to me about Green is his inability to be a pass cassing threat out of the backfield like Isaac would be.


August 1st, 2012 at 8:46 AM ^

Solid point. However, I was always in the camp that saw Ty growing out of the traditional HB/TB position. Not his height as much as that and size. Kid could be 6-3 240 in a year if he tries, hits a spurt or doesnt watch his body. If so and he loses a step I think he plays more of an H-back/Power Back role and while he could still be an asset in the passing game it would be different than the kid we see now. Possibly, of course.

Green, as you state, is just a dozer. I'm happy with a dozer who we only ask to catch the occasional screen (ala A-Train). Just don't know if we end up with him anyway.

Space Coyote

August 1st, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

Green was my favorite back in the class to fit the system I believe Hoke wants to have. I think with college coaching he will learn to use his hands a bit better to better handle tacklers coming from his side. He isn't going to cut much, but he's one of those backs that will give you 4-5 yards on most carries and fall forward simply because of his running style, which is something that Michigan needs. He doesn't have great hands, but I think they can make him a little more natural of a pass catcher so that teams have to at least respect that he could leak out of the backfield, and he could still be a very good pass blocker (something that would be very un-Blunt-like, as Magnus compares his game to Blunt (I agree, similar running styles, hopefully not much else though)).

Compared to other backs: I think of Smith more like the A-train. Good use of hands to help break tackles, good at picking lanes and hitting the hole with one step. I think of Green more like Eddie George. Strong runner that will get you yards on almost every play. Can be a home run threat if he breaks some LB tackles because he has speed too. Not as good of a pass catcher though. So very different but both can be very good and really help this offense.

As for comparing him to Isaac: I think Isaac was the most important back to get in this class because he gave Michigan something they didn't have anything close to: a speed/homerun threat. While Green is different than a lot of current backs, a lot of attributes can be found in some of the other recruited backs or backs currently on the team (Rawls). That being said, I think Isaac has more upside as a WR, which says a lot, because I think he has a lot of upside at RB as well, and can be a very good RB. I would still have worries about his running style for a RB, and think he would be better suited on end arounds and catching the ball in space, but that's not a bad problem for USC to have with their other commited RBs.


August 1st, 2012 at 8:58 AM ^

 a heavier version of the same "type" of RB as Smith.  Smith has more "shake" to him and IMO greater upside physically as he matures. Green does seem to not be a natural smooth receiver but that doesn't mean he can't learn to catch the balls he would get in this position.

Isaac is not a burner. He's not slow but he certainly isn't a sub 4.5 athlete. Additionally,  there is no evidence from his film that he was/is a good blocker or power runner.  Doesn't mean that he isn't, but with his team and those epic holes opened up he didn't have to do much else.  Isaac has a very narrow frame.  Don't know if he will be a 240 guy.



August 1st, 2012 at 9:17 AM ^

I agree on the subject of Isaac vs. the other guys.  I don't see a true gamebreaker out of Green, Smith, Shallman, Rawls, Hayes, etc.  I also wouldn't say Isaac is the best gamebreaking back in the country (I would have preferred Altee Tenpenny, Justin Davis, or a couple others), but Isaac has more big play ability than Green and those Michigan players/commits.


August 1st, 2012 at 9:53 AM ^

Do you believe you have to have a "game-breaker" to win on the national level?  Loaded question but a bad-ass line with a number of big to bigger powerful guys that should be able to get you 4 yards minimum isn't a bad formula IMO.  Can the "game-breaker" be played by the Norfleets, Hayes' of the world when you get them in the open?  Does it have to be the RB? 


August 1st, 2012 at 10:05 AM ^

I think you have to have a gamebreaker somewhere, whether it's at running back, wide receiver, punt returner, cornerback, something.  As far as I can remember, the national championship teams have had at least one guy on either side of the ball (usually offense) who was a superstar and a guy who could make big plays at any given time.  Alabama had Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram, USC had Reggie Bush, Michigan had Charles Woodson, Auburn had Cam Newton, Texas had Vince Young, Florida had Tebow/Harvin, etc.

I don't see a real gamebreaker out of this group of running backs, but maybe that can be LaQuon Treadwell if he commits, or Alvin Bailey.  

Hell, I think Michigan is going to be able to compete with just about anyone with these offensive linemen they're recruiting.  But when you're trying to win a national championship, sometimes you just need a guy who you know is going to pull out a big play, score a touchdown, etc.  We might have that guy on defense (maybe it's Jourdan Lewis or Dymonte Thomas), but it's tough to win without a superstar.

EDIT: I don't think Hayes can be that guy, but maybe Norfleet as a returner.


August 1st, 2012 at 10:41 AM ^

He has the potential, I guess, but not when he's throwing 15 picks...and that doesn't have much to do with his supporting cast.  In fact, Hemingway and Roundtree probably saved him from throwing 17 or 18 picks.

Denard would need a ton of help to win a national championship, because he has a history of throwing too many interceptions and fumbling too much.  If we had Alabama's offensive line and defense, then we could just run the ball all day and not count on him to throw the ball for us to win.  Unfortunately, we've got an iffy center, a hole at left guard, a questionable defensive line, mediocre wide receivers, and a solid but unspectacular defensive backfield.

Space Coyote

August 1st, 2012 at 10:11 AM ^

I agree that Isaac wasn't the most "game breaker" type back, but he certainly had that capability and was probably the best of those that Michigan had a chance to get. Having a game breaker certainly helps, because it keeps the defense that much more on their toes, making them play probably a bit more timid. You could have one on defense too. But remember that OSU won a national championship with Clarett, who runs somewhat similar to Smith in that he doesn't have great speed, but could cut and use his hands to make tackles miss, and had a little power to his game. I'm sure there are other cases, but that's the first that jumped to mind.

I believe, as long as you have a stout defense and a QB that needs to be respected (ala Alabama 3 years ago, though I don't believe a defense needs to be quite that good to be successful either) you can win. Texas won based off Vince Young (bad example because he's a once in a lifetime type player) and Colt McCoy (better example) and not much of a running game after Benson left. There are lots of ways to be successful, but at least some balance and a good defense is required in my opinion.


August 1st, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

I think this is the approach.  It doesn't have to be the RB. -it helps but it isn't the only position it can come from.  Would we consider Hart a "game-breaker"?  I'm not sure, but his style was perfect for those years.  In past years were the "game-breakers" a product of the offense and scheme or purely singular talent? 

Green will be an asset no question.  For 13 I'm happy with Smith/Shallman if that is what is to be.  Obviously the upperclassmen will have a couple that rise to the top and are studs in their own right. 

Why can't Kyle Bosch be our "game-breaker" for this year : ) 


August 1st, 2012 at 10:35 AM ^

That's the thing about Hart - he was never a gamebreaker.  He was a very good college player, but he wasn't a big play guy.  He was a guy who would turn a 4-yard gain into a 6-yard gain or an 8-yard gain into a 12-yard gain.  But we also never won on a national level during his tenure.  Michigan's best season was 2006, when we lost a close one to OSU and then got trounced in the Rose Bowl to finish 11-2.

True Blue Grit

August 1st, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

He got so many first downs on his own personal effort it was incredible.  And that helped make Michigan a very good team while he was here.  Moving the ball on long sustained drives has been a big problem for Michigan in the last 4 years.  So, if Green can help us get back to that, that's huge by itself. 


August 1st, 2012 at 11:51 AM ^

Ingram was not a "gamebreaker" either. He was a wrecking ball behind a mammoth O-line.  Richardson was more explosive than Ingram.  When you have a defense like Alabama or LSU you don't need a gamebreaker. 

Big plays will eventually come as you have enough talent on offense at any big time program to exploit a mistake by a defense.  You don't need that one big time explosive player if you have a dominant defense. 


August 1st, 2012 at 8:49 AM ^

I think LT still needs to be priority #1, but this kid looks like he's about 5 lbs. shy of Bo Jackson.  I don't think he would overtake an upperclassman Rawls for the #1 spot, but we would have great depth at RB for a couple years before Green eventually takes over.


August 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 AM ^

I would probably agree with you, but that depends heavily on who else is here.  If Toussaint returns in 2013 and Rawls is still here, those are probably your top two backs.  There wouldn't be much room for a third guy to get carries unless he's a third-down back like Smith/Hayes...and Green is the opposite of that.  I kind of expect Toussaint to leave after 2012, so that's probably a moot point, though.


August 1st, 2012 at 9:18 AM ^

Lol, no I don't see any comparison to Bo outside of his physique.  But, I'll save my final judgement when I see Green try to break a bat accross his knee and run on the left field wall ninja style.  I'll settle for Green running the ball 29 straight times against Wisconsin.


August 1st, 2012 at 10:16 AM ^

Green definitely has an extra gear maybe 2 that Smith doesn't possess.... That said I don't think I've seen any Michigan recruit violently break tackles the way Smith does. Maybe Brandon Minor (when he wasn't hurt)... Anyone speak to how Green and Smith's competition stack up?


August 1st, 2012 at 10:23 AM ^

I really, really want a back that has the ability to wear down a defense as the game goes on....

As much as I like Fitz...He doesnt seem to have the ability to physically dominate a defense....

Even if Derrick Green doesnt juke and jive around the field...He is not slow by any means, and when he is getting his 25th carry in the 4th quarter, that defense is going to be sick and tired of getting trucked....


August 1st, 2012 at 10:26 AM ^

I appreciate the people who are defending me on here.  I really do.

But you're probably wasting your metaphorical breath.  Mr. Rager enjoys criticizing TTB and Tremendous (and perhaps other free blogs).  I don't know exactly why, and honestly I don't care.  But it probably won't stop anytime soon, so I'm just going to try to ignore him in the meantime.


August 1st, 2012 at 10:44 AM ^

Nah...I'm actually M-Wolverine.  I just figured people would get jealous if I had racked up almost 57,000 points and surpassed Brian, so I split my posts up equally between the two accounts.


August 1st, 2012 at 10:43 AM ^

I respect Magnus' opinion and enjoy reading his report's.

The 1 thing IMO that stuck out where I have a difference of opinion is where it's stated that he doesn't go side to side well and make people miss.

The only highlight film I watched of him is the 1 posted on Touch the Banner site; but from that it appeared to me he does a good job of making people miss in the open field.

If we were evaluating the defensive backs in that film we would be critisizing them for missed open field tackles.  IMO the thing that he does is to do enough to make them miss without exagerating the motion necessary to accomplish that.  It's a quck step to the side and and get's going north & south quckly again.


August 1st, 2012 at 2:13 PM ^

Yeah, he doesn't seem to use alot of waisted motion.  He kind of reminds me of Beanie Wells a little bit.  He's not going to go into a game looking to break ankles, but if he has a little bit of space he can make a safety bite on a move and break a long run (sigh).

Space Coyote

August 1st, 2012 at 12:44 PM ^

What it looks like to me, because Green is so big, is that the DBs are attempting to take him down low. This gets them in bad position when Green does is slight cut. It will still work from time to time in college because he's still going to be a big, fast back, but not as often.

It's not really a side to side motion, and with a guy his size you really don't want a ton of that anyway. You want someone that big and fast going north and south fast.


August 2nd, 2012 at 7:02 AM ^

He does keep his shoulders square and get upfield pretty well.  I don't want him dancing.  But there are several occasions where a guy is coming straight at him and Green does virtually nothing to avoid the contact - no stiff arm, no lateral jump, etc.  I understand that you want him going north and south, but I would like to see more than straight-ahead bulldozing, too.


August 1st, 2012 at 11:19 AM ^

A pocket quarterback can't do it on his own...and that's the reason so many people want Treadwell - because there appears to be no gamebreaking receiving on the roster or committed right now.  I would be glad to be wrong, and there are a couple freshmen we haven't seen on the field (Chesson, Darboh), but the 2013 wide receivers are more possession/red zone guys than catch-and-run guys.


August 1st, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^

It was a good read and I agree with your assessments (particularly the weaknesses) based on my limited view of just his game film. With that said, a downhill runner behind a good line can be a great thing and he does look like he has some explosiveness to him. I'm going on a limb here, but I think his ceiling is a Ty Wheatley kind of back.