December 18, 2012
Green wins title, turns attention to Purdue
During his first three years at Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, running back Keyante Green's Chargers had inched a step closer to the state championship each season.
Last year, they were upset in the semifinals, stopping them a step short of playing in the Georgia Dome for a title. But there were no such roadblocks this season, as Green and ELCA (14-1) not only made the title game, but won, beating Prince Avenue Christian for the Class A private school football championship on Friday.
"Working together with my guys one last time, being able to focus on practice during the week and knowing we had one last shot to get the championship, my mind was set on it," said Green, a Purdue commitment. "I was doing it for my teammates and was giving it my all out on the field, in the Georgia Dome. I was very excited just to stand on the podium and be able to take the state championship."
Green finished with 84 yards on 12 carries, with two touchdowns, in the Chargers' 33-0 victory. And he did so despite battling an ankle injury that had him seeking treatment over the last couple of weeks.
"I was able to play full speed, even knowing that my ankle was hurting," the 5-foot-9, 190-pounder said. "But I was able to manage the pain and help my guys.
"I woke up the last two weeks around 5:30 to get therapy done in the morning, so I could practice in the afternoon. I didn't do much in practice, but got mental reps. I was getting those in so I could prepare myself for Friday."
Now with his high school career over, Green can focus on Purdue. It's been a whirlwind last few weeks, with Purdue firing Coach Danny Hope, then hiring Darrell Hazell as his replacement.
Green says he's had an opportunity to talk to Hazell via phone.
"He's a good guy," Green said. "I loved talking to him. He influenced me, just talking to me on the phone. He told me that the people that he's going to put on his staff are going to prepare me as men in life and that's really important to me."
It's helped that Green and Hazell have a connection in Derrick Moore, the team chaplain at Georgia Tech. Green calls Moore a mentor, and Hazell calls him a friend.
"And that helps and makes me feel closer to him," Green said of Hazell.
But Green, while still committed to Purdue, says it's not yet 100 percent, but he's getting closer to solid. He called the last few weeks "crazy."
"I've actually been talking to other schools because I didn't know who the head coach was going to be," Green said. "I was kind of worried. But now finding out who is it, I have no worries at all. I'm still committed. When I didn't know who it was, I was still about 85 percent; then when I found out who it was, it was about 90; and after talking to him, it shot up to about 95 percent because I trust him and who he is going to put on his staff. I believe he's going to make big changes at Purdue."
Green says the last five percent can be gained when Hazell meets his family. That will happen in a couple weeks, after the bowl season and dead period is over, and Hazell can make an in-home visit.
"I just want Coach Hazell to come down here and meet my grandma and everything," he said. "And make sure she's all right with him. I'm pretty sure she will be, but I just want him to come down. He'll be down here in two weeks, after the dead period ends, and will meet my grandmother."
Copyright, Boilers, Inc. 2012. All Rights Reserved. Reproducing or using editorial or graphical content, in whole or in part, without permission, is strictly prohibited. E-mail GoldandBlack.com/Boilers, Inc.
GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your iPhone | GoldandBlack.com Mobile for your Android
Check out GoldandBlack.com on | |
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial