The Freshman Files: S German Green
This is the second of a regular installment where I break down a member of Michigan football’s 2018 recruiting class, starting with worst-ranked and going all the way to the top. If you’re a Michigan football fan, these guys are going to be a big part of your life for the next few years–get to know them!
High School: DeSoto High School; DeSoto, Texas
Height: Everybody has him at 6-2
Weight: ESPN and 247 list 168, but Rivals has him at 180. Either way, he’s pretty skinny.
Rivals: 3-star S
ESPN: 3-star CB
247: 3-star, #80 S, #973 overall
247 Composite: 3-star, #98 S, #1231 overall
It seems like most mentions of German Green are footnotes on stories of his much-more-sought-after twin brother, Gemon Green (who Michigan also snagged in this class). It’s even difficult to find a picture of him without Gemon. But what all that means is that this is the rare package-deal in recruiting that actually worked out.
The immediate suspicion that raises is that the Wolverines weren’t all that interested in German, but figured extending him an offer would increase their odds with Gemon.
Supporting that theory is German’s offer list. Colorado got things started way back in April of 2016, but then only mid-majors offered him until Jan. 2017 when Oklahoma State came though. His next major conference offer was Michigan on March 16, 2017. Tennessee offered on April 19, but German (and Gemon) committed to the Wolverines the next day. He only took one official visit, a trip to Ann Arbor for the Michigan State game, and he somehow still wanted to play for Michigan after that masterpiece and signed during the early signing period in December. All of this was complicated by German missing his entire junior season due to a torn ACL. Departed safeties coach Brian Smith was listed as his lead recruiter.
What did the Wolverines get here? Was he an add-on to keep Gemon happy, or does he have a serious shot to contribute? One only needs to look back a few years for another perceived add-on situation when Michigan offered good-friend-of-Rashan-Gary Michael Dwumfour, and it appears Dwumfour will start this season.
Luck, or did the Michigan staff see something in Dwumfour others didn’t?
Well, let’s get this out of the way: German is not going to be a cornerback, despite how he’s listed on ESPN. In the 11 plays above, he blankets a receiver and knocks away a pass (excluding when he’s trailing) just once.
What he does do several times is hit and wrap up. When German meets a ball-carrier, despite his slight frame, that ball-carrier stops. At one point he even fights off a block, more like a linebacker than a cornerback.
Complementing his physicality is above average speed and good technique when trailing the receiver. ESPN lists a 40-time of 4.76, but he looks a lot faster than that on film. When German gets beat (which happens a lot for a Wolverine secondary recruit) he recovers well and seems to get his hands up at just the right time to knock away the pass.
He displayed good body control and hands on a couple of interceptions.
Tell Me The Future
As most sites have figured out, he’s going to be a safety at Michigan, but I break from most others in thinking that he’s more likely to become a strong safety than free safety.
While his ball-hawking skills and hands are impressive, his predominant traits are wrapping up and delivering physical hits. And while he’s not thick enough to play in the box right now, a college S&C program can get him there. The split in his weight listings, 168 vs. 180, suggests that process may have already started.
Adding to my theory is the depth chart. Josh Metellus has two years left, then J’Marick Woods is a senior, then… nothing. If German takes a redshirt, he could be in line to start at strong safety for two years as long as he doesn’t get clipped by someone younger, and right now the Wolverines have two safeties committed in the 2019 class.
The path to playing time at free safety is much more crowded. This is Tyree Kinnel’s last year, then we’ll have two years of Jaylen Kelly-Powell and/or Brad Hawkins, then by the time German would be a senior he might still be battling the much-more-highly-ranked Sammy Faustin from his own class (if Faustin doesn’t end up at corner). If German redshirts and Faustin doesn’t, German might get his redshirt senior year to start, but all of that would require several dominoes falling just the right way. I suppose that’s expected at the bottom of a disappointing class.
Other suitors: Colorado, Oklahoma State, Tennessee
Other Lounge appearances: None, welcome!
Previous competition: DeSoto is legit: Friday Night Lights stuff in that area. He’s honed his skills against some of the best high school football players in the country.