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TAMPA, Fla. - Christian Green had many dreams when he first walked in the Tampa Catholic hallways as a talented ninth grader four years ago. One such dream was to be a U.S. Army All-American. That wish officially came true on Tuesday, as it was announced before a packed assembly at his high school that Green will play in the country's most prestigious high school all-star football game on January 9 in San Antonio.
"It's mindboggling to me," Green said. "I think I have been very blessed to have this opportunity. One of my main goals when I got to high school was to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game. This is the best players in the country and now I have that chance. It's going to be a challenge because you are playing against the best. But I know I will make the adjustment."
Green has been a part of a terrific four-year stretch for the Crusaders. In that time they have been district champions each year. They also made it to the state finals and state semi-finals over the past two seasons. According to Tampa Catholic head coach Bob Henriquez, much of their success is because of his star, Christian Green.
"The kid is a winner and our record over the last four years is a reflection of Christian. It's not about the stats. It's about wins. We have had the best four-year run here while Christian was here. That kid is a special talent but he understands the importance of that talent within the team concept."
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Green is a four-star athlete and a member of the Rivals100 (No. 59). He started off his high school career as a receiver, where as a freshman he had 10 touchdown receptions and earned all-state honorable mention honors. He made the switch to quarterback his sophomore year simply because he was the best athlete on the team. He has played a little bit at receiver but mainly has been the team's signal caller. Green will play wide receiver in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
"Christian is so skilled," Henriquez said. "Sure he has some work to do to play receiver and I know he will work hard. The kid just makes big plays. I think he's averaging close to 30 yards a reception when he has played receiver for us this year. He's just a multi-talented kid."
In attendance were Green's parents. His father, Hiram Green, is no stranger to big time athletics. Mr. Green played college basketball at the University of South Florida. As one could imagine, he's proud of what his son has accomplished.
"It's a blessing and an honor to be chosen. This is a culmination of all the hard work that Christian has put in. This game is also a yardstick to get better for the future. I know he's so excited about his opportunity and excited to play receiver in the game. He will really begin to work hard at it after the season to get caught up to speed."
Tampa Catholic is currently 7-0 and ranked No. 3 in Class 2B. They face Avon Park this week before closing out their regular season in two weeks against arch-rival Tampa Jesuit. One thing Green hasn't done yet is beat Jesuit.
"I know Christian has three goals he hasn't yet achieved. First, we haven't beaten Jesuit in three years. Second, we haven't finished undefeated. And we haven't won a state championship."
In terms of recruiting, Green is basically down to four schools. He recently visited the University of Georgia. Green will visit Florida officially for their home game against Florida State (11/26). He also plans on visiting Southern California and Florida State.
"Georgia was a great experience for me. I learned a lot about the school and program and met a lot of great people there. I will visit Florida for the FSU game and I want to visit USC after the season. I plan on visiting FSU during their bowl week. I am trying to keep everything open and see where I fit. I don't have a time table and I am hoping to make a decision before (National) Signing Day."
Green is one of 90 high school football players that have been selected to play in the 10th U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The game will be played in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on January 9, 2009. The game will air live on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.