It was spring break 2013. TCU running back Aaron Green stood waist-deep in the chilly waters of the Jordan River in Israel. The water was cold--really cold--but he was determined to do something that would soon turn into a life-changing moment.
With a shiver in his voice, he raised his hands toward the sky and said, "This is for the King, right here."
Then, he was submerged into the water and lifted up, baptized in the same river as his hero, Jesus Christ.
Green's baptism in the Jordan River was a key moment of his life. Perhaps TCU's 2014 season make up some of his core memories as well.
Green had to step up into the starting role after teammate B.J. Catalon suffered a concussion at West Virginia. At that point in the season, Green had been averaging more than 8 yards per carry. During the following game against Kansas State, he did just fine, even dashing 65 yards on one long run for a touchdown.
By the end of the season, Green had 129 carries for 922 yards and 9 touchdowns, good enough for 7.1 yards per carry. He also had a receiving touchdown from a trick play at the Peach Bowl against Ole Miss.
He'd come a long way from his days at Madison High School in San Antonio. Ranked out of high school as the No. 11 player in the nation, Green first chose to become a Nebraska Cornhusker before transferring after his freshman year.
In 2013, Green made his debut for TCU. His only touchdown was a 9-yard receiving touchdown against Southeastern Louisiana. Playing in 12 games and starting for two, he averaged 3.2 yards per carry and finished with 72 carries for 232 yards.
The potential was always there for Green, but last season was when he truly blossomed.
Green is a senior now, yet in some ways he's the same Aaron Green he was two years ago--still pointing to the sky, still wearing his faith on his sleeve.
So many times on the journey I could've given up . I'm no super star just a vessel for God running my race. #Marathon pic.twitter.com/P1Rn5yVcBq— Aaron Green (@AaronGreen22) July 20, 2015
This season, he's listed as a co-starter alongside Kyle Hicks and Trevorris Johnson if only on paper. The points he scores will all contribute to what could possibly be a second consecutive conference championship and, just maybe, a national championship.
But what Green is playing for remains much, much bigger.