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Vols Get Visit from Play-Making JUCO Cornerback

(Photo via @A_JR20 on Twitter)

Back at the end of February, Tennessee sent out an offer to junior college cornerback Art Green. Once his spring semester ended, he decided to make a few visits to colleges, and he made a stop in Knoxville over the weekend.

Green is a 6-foot-2, 200-pound cornerback who plays for the prestigious Hutchinson Community College. He just finished up his first year at Hutchinson, and the athletic defensive back made a visit to Tennessee on Saturday for the first time.

Shortly after his visit finished up, Green tweeted out a graphic that Tennessee sent him as part of their sales pitch. The graphic featured two recent Vols who played at Hutchinson before coming to UT, and both are now playing in the NFL: running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson played for the Vols in 2012 and was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent this past season with the New England Patriots and helped them win Super Bowl LIII. Kamara played for the Vols in 2015 and 2016 and was taken in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. He won Rookie of the Year in 2017 and was even more productive this past season in 2018.

Right now, Green isn’t rated on 247Sports, but he’ll likely be one of the top JUCO corners in the 2020 cycle once he gets rated. Along with his offer from the Vols, Green holds offers from Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Houston, and many other schools.

I spoke with Green not long after he got his offer from Tennessee, and he said he was “super excited” to get the offer. Tennessee’s Director of Programming for Football, Joe Osovet, was who contacted Green. Osovet used to be a head coach in the JUCO ranks, and he’s UT’s main recruiter for most of their JUCO targets.

Coming out of high school, Green was a wide receiver at Parkway Central in Missouri, and he was committed to play at Arkansas State. But, he didn’t have a high enough ACT score to get in, so he ended up enrolling at Hutchinson just weeks after graduating high school.

Once he got to Hutchinson, coaches asked him if he wanted to play defensive back. Green obliged, and he flourished once he got comfortable.

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“When I came to Hutchinson, I told myself that I wanted to make my career in football longer, so the defensive side of the football is where I needed to go,” Green told me. “You got the outstanding receivers that are like 6-foot-4 and 6-foot-3, and you have the smaller guys that are real fast. I felt like I was athletic enough to just learn defense and take it day by day.

“At the beginning of the season, that was my first time in-game playing DB. After the first game, I got comfortable.”

In just one year, Green made his presence felt as a cornerback. In 12 games in his first season at Hutchinson, Green intercepted six passes and broke up another six while totaling 19 tackles according to the school’s site. He also blocked a field goal attempt.

Green said Tennessee offered him because they really liked his film. Upon watching it myself, I see why UT and other SEC schools have offered the athletic corner.

Despite this being the first year Green has played cornerback, he’s a very instinctual defensive back who does a good job reading receivers and running with faster receivers while also battling with bigger wideouts. Green has very good speed for his size, and he knows how to use his length. He plays very physically, and he has a knack for making plays. He knows when to break on balls, and he has very good awareness.

One of the big draws for Green to move from offense to defense was the self-accountability it takes to play on an island out on the outside at cornerback.

“With corner, it’s more personal,” Green said. “It’s more of a one-on-one thing most of the time. I just like that more than offense. On offense, I had to rely on a lot things. But when I’m out there at corner, I know that if I mess up, it’s on me. It’s my fault, and I have to make up for it.”

Though he impressed in just his first year playing cornerback, Green knows he still has a lot to work on to keep on improving. He has one more year at Hutchinson before he makes a decision on where to spend his last two years of college, and he’ll be trying to improve the technical details of his craft in the meantime.

“I feel like now with me being comfortable with corner, I can polish my techniques and learn and get better with my style and get even better,” Green stated. “I just need to learn the techniques better.”

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