Vols Land Commitment from JUCO Cornerback

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    (Photo via @A_JR20 on Twitter)

    Art Green took a visit to Tennessee over the weekend, and he saw all he needed to see in order to make a commitment.

    Green, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound cornerback who plays for Hutchinson Community College, announced on Monday afternoon that he’s committing to the Vols in their 2020 class.

    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. Green chose Tennessee over offers he holds from Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Arkansas, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Houston, and many other schools.

    Green visited the Vols this weekend after receiving an offer from them back in late February, and he felt comfortable enough after the visit to go public with his commitment. The Vols have had two other players over the last decade who joined them from Hutchinson who went on to have a great deal of success. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson signed on with the Vols from Hutchinson in 2012, and running back Alvin Kamara signed with UT from Hutchinson in 2015. Patterson was a first-round draft pick into the NFL in 2013, and Kamara was a third-round pick in 2017 and won Rookie of the Year in the NFL in 2017 as well.

    I spoke with Green not long after he got his offer from Tennessee back in late February, 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 major interest in 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. The Vols should be able to find a way to get him on the field as soon as he gets to campus.

    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’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.”

    Tennessee now has seven players committed to them in their 2020 class. Green is the first cornerback to commit to the Vols this cycle, but he isn’t the first JUCO player to pledge himself to UT in their 2020 class. The No. 1 overall JUCO player, defensive end Jordan Davis, committed to the Vols back on November 13th of 2018.