Green’s recruiting dream comes true

Published 3:20 pm Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It’s been 50 weeks since Spain Park standout defensive end William Green told me he was going to Gainesville.

“I think we’ll win another national championship while I’m there,” Green said. “We’ve got one of the top recruiting classes in the nation.”

He achieved that goal Thursday, as the University of Florida beat the University of Oklahoma 28-14, in the BCS National Championship Game.

Many freshmen don’t see the field in a national title game, but Green had his moment.

With Oklahoma forced to punt in the third quarter, Florida head coach Urban Meyer called for the block, and No. 96, Green, whipped around the line with plenty of time to reach punter Mike Knall. But unfortunately for him, he was unable to stop in his national stage debut, leaping into Knall to give the Sooners a first down.

Fortunately for Green, Florida held and went on to add two touchdowns to break the 14-14 tie. Green’s play went fairly unnoticed the next day. Had the final score been reversed, Green might have not had such luck.

But before anyone thinks that Green didn’t know what he was doing as a freshman on a punt block, he’s already shown this year that he does. Green displayed a perfect block at home against the University of Kentucky during the season.

After that game, Meyer spoke.

“It’s not by accident that William Green blocked that punt. It was effort and well deserved,” Meyer said. “A guy named Reggie Nelson made his name around here blocking punts, and William has that kind of potential. He’s going to be a big name around here.”

If you’re one who thought Green might not get a chance to play for the Gators, it’s time to put all wonder aside. After adding 20-30 pounds since arriving at UF, this 6-foot-4, 225-pound player will not only play special teams, but should get his shot at defensive end.

Congratulations William Green. We’ll give you praise, because after all, Meyer put it best. “He doesn’t say a whole lot.”