Richmond (Va.) Hermitage running back Derrick Green got to experience the rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State in many ways this past weekend as he skipped a visit to Columbus and took a long trip to Ann Arbor. The nation's No. 1 running back talks about the weekend and cutting down his list.
"The visit to Michigan was a really nice one," said the 6-foot, 200-pounder who took in the Wolverines atmosphere most of the weekend. "It was great to be around the players and coaches and I really like coach Hoke, I can see why he's been successful there. He loves Michigan football. But I spent a lot of time with the other recruits and they were probably recruiting me harder than anyone else. The coaches didn't pressure me, but the other commits in the class were pushing me to join them, it was funny and it's a great group of players."
Green spent time with numerous class of 2013 recruits but said the offensive line really made the impact on him.
"David Dawson, Logan Tuley-Tillman and the others, they were great," he said. "They were telling me I could win the Heisman running behind them at Michigan. You can tell it's a really tight group of recruits."
There were rumors that Green was tempted to commit on his visit despite his methodical approach to recruiting thus far.
"I wasn't really going to commit," he said. "The recruits all wanted me to, but I wasn't really close. I want to take this process seriously, I want to go slow and make the right decision. Michigan was great, it was a very good visit and I was impressed with the coaches, but I'm still going to take my time."
Michigan was Green's last visit until his season starts. He was expected to visit Ohio State for the Buckeyes Friday Night Lights but there were conflicting reports as to why he didn't stop in Columbus. Green wanted to clear things up.
"I was getting hit up on Twitter by Ohio State fans all during my trip to Michigan," he said with a laugh. "They were telling me that Ohio State dropped me and I could go to Michigan as my second choice and all of that. Ohio State didn't drop me, the coaches still wanted me to visit before Michigan but in talking to them we came to a mutual agreement that the offense wasn't a fit for me. I tweeted that they got a wide receiver and they had run out of room and that's when everything started. Ohio State didn't run out of room, it just that that offense isn't a great fit the way the run things under Urban Meyer, it's not really made for backs like me."
Next up for Green is a narrowing of his list to five schools possibly this week.
"I want to get it down to five hopefully by the end of the week," he said. "I have to talk it over with my family and come up with the best fits for me."
Green had narrowed down his list to 13 schools -- Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Miami, Michigan, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pitt, Tennessee and Virginia Tech -- back on July 4 but Georgia made it 14 with a recent offer. He visited Alabama, Auburn and Ole Miss recently and has been to Virginia Tech, Clemson, Tennessee and Ohio State but with the Buckeyes out of the picture and the big back unable to visit Miami, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Pitt could we see a list that includes Michigan and Auburn, the two schools many feel lead the way right now?
"You'll have to wait and see," he said. "I really can't say until I discuss it with my family. I know I want a pro-style offense where they run first and pass second, that will be a key factor for me. There are many other factors as well and we will discuss those things."
In the meantime, two-a-days have started at Hermitage and Green can't wait for the season to start.
"This summer has been interesting," he said. "It's been a lot of 7-on-7 which isn't my thing but I used it to get better. But I can't wait to lower my head and hit someone. The season can't start soon enough."