Rivals.com is counting down the top 10 matchups we can't wait to watch at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge over the final 10 days heading into the event in Atlanta.
Three days away: Matchup No. 3
ILB Reuben Foster, Auburn (Ala.) vs.
RB Derrick Green, Richmond (Va.) Hermitage
Why Foster has an edge:
Foster, who is ranked as the nation's No. 1 inside linebacker and No. 2 overall prospect, is ferocious. The 6-foot-2, 228-pound defender combines great size, physicality, and explosiveness. He is very quick to the spot when he makes a decision on where he is going to attack. While his future at Alabama, where he is currently committed, is likely at inside linebacker, he is capable of playing sideline-to-sideline as well as dropping back into coverage and could handle outside linebacker as well. His ability to quickly accelerate and change direction at his size is unique. He could also line up along the front four as he uses great strength and leverage to get off of blocks from offensive linemen. When he attacks downhill, he does a great job of getting off of blocks and using his quick feet to track down the quarterback or ball carrier in the backfield. He is a violent hitter who does a very good job of finishing tackles one-on-one in space.
Why Green has an edge:
Green, who is ranked as the nation's No. 1 overall running back and No. 12 overall prospect, has a great mix of speed and size. The 6-foot, 215-pound is extremely physically impressive with a strong base and solid build up to his shoulders. He has a college-ready body for the backfield. His physical prowess is backed up by his explosiveness with the ball. The running back has a time of 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 4.08 seconds in the shuttle. He displays both great straight-line speed and the ability to use wiggle and change of direction with great acceleration to make defenders miss. He is also willing to take on defenders, breaking arm tackles and bouncing off for additional yards. In addition to his ability to tote the rock, Green has demonstrated that he is a capable receiver out of the backfield and not scared to drop his shoulder and take on an incoming defender in pass protect.
It is disappointing that this clash of the titans won't occur in pads, as the physical approach that both bring to the field would be a pleasure to watch at full-speed and with full protection. That being said, it is quite the battle as both are incredibly athletic prospects who can cover a ton of ground quickly and are able to utilize change of direction and quick acceleration to make plays. Without pads, the advantage likely goes to the running back, Green, in a camp setting, but don't expect Foster to roll over. Foster will make Green work for every yard and every reception he may make at the event.
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