The loss of Aaron Green has been overshadowed this off-season as most pundits have tended to focus on the graduations of QB Trevone Boykin and WR Josh Doctson, who are quite possibly the two greatest players at their respective positions - at least statistically - to ever suit up in Purple and White. But, Green was an incredibly productive player in his own right, responsible for nearly as many highlight plays and racking up yardage and touchdowns consistently. Though TCU has several players ready and able to step into his considerable cleats, they were lacking a veteran with significant game experience - until now.
In what may feel a bit like deja vu, another transfer with the last name Green, who was also a former five star recruit, will be joining the Frogs this fall. Though this Green is a bit of a different player: Derrick is a 6', 227 pound power back out of Richmond, VA, as opposed to the speedy/shifty Aaron out of San Antonio. Both leave tradition-rich programs that saw them fall out of favor in the rotation, and looking for a second chance to make the most out of their considerable talents.
Green received 35 offers as the fourth ranked RB in the class of 2013, spurning nearly the entire Big 12, ACC and SEC in the process. The Army All-American was recruited by TCU in his first go-round, but the lure of Brady Hoke's power run offense and the opportunity to earn early playing time ultimately won out. But those opportunities never materialized, and Green was limited to just 270 yards his freshman year, and saw his sophomore campaign cut short due to a shoulder injury. This past season, under first year coach Jim Harbaugh, Green rushed for less than 160 yards and did not play in UM's final three games. After graduating this spring, the rising senior made the choice to leave Ann Arbor and take his talents south to Funky Town.
It will be interesting to see what kind of role Green fills; it took Aaron a solid season to find his footing in TCU's offense and take ownership of the lead back role. But Derrick is not likely to be asked to do that - he can be the thunder to the lightning of guys like Shaun Nixon and Kyle Hicks - small, shifty guys who Cumbie and Meacham seem to prefer using as receivers out of the backfield more than pure runners. The Frogs signed one true freshman back in the class of 2016, Darius Anderson, but he could potentially be a redshirt candidate this fall. All everything freshman Sewo Olonilua is currently listed as a tailback - the only player on the roster at that position - which lends to the belief that he may have a specially defined role in the Frog Raid this fall. The player who this is most likely to effect from a playing time standpoint is fan favorite junior Trevorris Johnson, a rumbling mass of power and surprisingly quick feet who could be a game changer - if he could get and stay out of Coach P's dog house. Whether Green was brought in to challenge/complement/replace Johnson will likely be one of the more intriguing questions during fall camp.
Regardless of how he ends up fitting into the offense and the play calls, Green brings a veteran presence from a big time program and should be an excellent mentor in a relatively new-look offense. And with a young offensive line and a new starting QB, you can never have enough effective runners. This is another great late summer/surprising pickup for a TCU team that keeps finding a way to add to their considerable talent pool.
Welcome to the Frog Fam, Derrick!