September 26, 2015. TCU vs. Texas Tech. Fourth and goal. Less than 30 seconds left in the game.
The Frogs were down 52-48 with one play left. All they needed to do was get the team's best receiver, Josh Doctson, in the end zone, throw to him and salvage the game.
Trevone Boykin took the snap as his receivers went running. Aaron Green, the running back, got help from a block and found himself wide open in the middle of the end zone. He turned and waved to get his quarterback's attention, but Boykin's eyes were set on Doctson, who was running straight into the path of two Tech defenders. Boykin threw and Doctson tried to leap for the catch, but the ball came up too high and grazed the tips of his fingers.
Luckily, Green was there watching the ball, his feet dancing safely within the end zone's boundaries. He jumped behind Doctson and the deflected ball bobbled into Green's hands. And somewhere in the booth, announcer Brian Estridge was screaming "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" over the radio. Touchdown TCU. The Frogs won.
It was a defining play for Green, one that in some ways illustrated the story of his career -- talent flying under the radar, waiting to be noticed, then swooping in and surprising everyone. Green isn't going to be as raved about as Ezekiel Elliott or Derrick Henry, but if given the chance, Green could become a contender. A "diamond in the rough," as they say. You know, like Aladdin.
Husker to Horned Frog
Green has a little Baylor Bear in his blood, but even though his father and uncle played for the arch rival out in Waco, he was "never" a Bears fan, he told TCU Magazine. He ended up going to Nebraska in 2011 for his freshman year, where he showed some potential. He had two touchdowns there, one rushing and one receiving.
But in hopes of getting a little more playing time, Green transferred to TCU the following year. After sitting out that year, he finally got to put on the purple uniform and show his stuff. He mostly played behind BJ Catalon and averaged a meager 3.2 yards per attempt. Then the offense scheme changed for the 2014 season, Catalon got injured and suddenly, Green showed he was more than capable of being TCU's top running back. He had 11 touchdowns that year, nine rushing and two receiving, and averaged 7.1 yards per carry. Green seemed to take a step back in 2015, averaging 5.2 yards per carry, but he'd still made his way into Horned Frog lore with his miracle catch against Texas Tech.
Diamond in the rough
When draft conversations started, Green was barely part of it. He was also snubbed from the NFL Combine, so the only stages where Green could perform were the Senior Bowl and Pro Day.
He got some eyes at the Senior Bowl when he scampered for a 25-yard touchdown.
His Pro Day showed what he could've done at the Combine. His 40-yard dash time of 4.57 seconds would've listed him as a top performer in his position -- .03 seconds away from Heisman Winner Derrick Henry's time. And yet, critics continued to question his speed and ability to break through tackles. Many analysts guess Green would go as an undrafted free agent.
Spin and juke
There's a decent chance Green won't hear his name called on NFL Draft weekend, and that's okay. He could still make it into a camp and go from there. He did some work with the Dallas Cowboys -- which some say will draft a running back in the first round -- during the Cowboys' annual Dallas Day event. If anything comes out of it, Green's elusiveness and ability to make quick cuts would be a fantastic compliment to the Cowboys' solid offensive line. He may be the type of running back who tends to evade defenders as opposed to forcing through them, but with the right coaching, he could provide depth to the team.
All he needs is a chance.