Diamond in the Rough: Jared Green, WR, Southern

Jared GreenWhen you spend four years on a team in the ACC , making catches against the likes of Florida State and Miami, would you have the confidence of an NFL prospect? If your father is a Hall of Famer, the fastest player in the NFL during his playing years and a shutdown corner, would you assume you’re getting noticed? If you took a major jump in life, transferred to a school like Southern because you want a chance to show NFL Teams your true talent and few notice, you have to be upset, right?

“Although it upset me a little, it really motivated me more to show teams that I could play, and do it successfully in all offensive sets.”

Green, a 6’2, 184 pound wide receiver graduated from Oaktown High School in Virginia where he hauled in 17 passes his senior year for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns.   He was a transfer to Oaktown where he played his earlier career at Bishop O’Connell as a standout wide out there as well.  He was given a full scholarship to his hometown university; the University of Virginia. He was excited to get a chance to play for his hometown Cavaliers, being from Vienna, Virginia.

“It was the beginning of something new for me when I was given the scholarship. It was a major sense of accomplishment.  It began the journey of Jared Green the receiver, not Jared Green the son of Hall of Fame cornerback Darrell Green.”

In 2007, Green began his began his college career, studying anthropology, a major that fit him well.  Jared worked his way into the lineup in 2008 and was able to get into a rotational role in his first season with the Cavs.  It didn’t take long before Jared began showing his NFL Pedigree. In his first game against USC, he finished with 3 receptions for 40 yards. He wouldn’t stop there, continuing to have an impressive role in the wide receivers group, as he scored his first NCAA touchdown against the Hurricanes in a big way ending the game with three receptions. In 2008, Jared finished the season with 12 receptions for 144 yards and one touchdown. It was a start and a good place to start his college career. Jared felt like he was on the path to something special. 

In 2009, Jared again saw limited action. He caught an impressive 15 balls for 124 yards. He was used more as a slot receiver. He had 4 receptions versus Southern Mississippi, a career high going into the season and was able to pick up 4 first downs, all of which came on third downs. Unfortunately, Head Coach Al Groh, who was pulling for Jared and was really the one that helped get him in the program was fired after going 3-9 in 2009.

In 2010, Jared thought he would get a chance to start and get good playing time, but was still put in a limited role. The balls coming his way began to decrease and he was only thrown at 8 times the entire season. He caught all 8 balls and scored the only touchdown against VMI.  Jared graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelors Degree in Anthropology and but felt that he wasn’t able to showcase his talents and finished the year with 8 balls thrown his way.

Jared GreenJared had a major decision on his hands, and it didn’t take long. Jared took his talents to Louisiana where he met up with Former NFL star kick return and running back of the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals Stump Mitchell. Jared was given a scholarship to play for Southern and he was already making his first move in his anthropology lifestyle.  He would get that opportunity at Southern, splitting reps with LaQuinton Evans, a good wide receiver on the opposite side of the lineup. 

“I wish I could have had someone with that type of speed for all four years,” Stump said. “We could have had something special.”

Jared had a career year with Southern, as he hauled in 17 receptions for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. He really has a good first step and is able to break on routes at the right time. He is not afraid to go across the middle and make a snag. He has good hands and is hard to cover on double moves, because of his speed burst. He was able to showcase that speed at the HBCU Bowl in late December and proved how difficult he is to cover.

“You have to get the ball up in the air quickly, because he is so fast,” Mitchell said. “We missed some opportunities this year because of his quickness.  They won’t have that problem with him at the next level.”

The hardest thing coming from a small school, whether it be HBCU, FCS, Division 2 or Division 3, you have to face the fact that NFL scouts aren’t at every practice and trying to make it easier for players to succeed.

“I don’t understand why that happens,” Jared’s dad Darrell Green said. “I have played against many players that were at the bigger schools. It is an uphill battle, but I came from a Division 2 and I played 20 years, and made the Hall of Fame, I know Jared will be ready for the challenge.”

Jared is a rare talent you don’t find many people that can get this type of separation. Because his father was a corner, he has been taught the corner position and how to catch his opponents off guard. He understands his position and standing at 6’2 and 184 pounds, he uses his body to his advantage. He will go up and catch the ball at its highest point. He has a good frame and isn’t afraid of the middle of the field.  Although I would like to see him go through traffic more, he will need to work on this part of his game. He would make a very solid X Receiver because of his explosive speed and ability to stretch the field.

He reminds me of Torrey Smith of the Baltimore Ravens, because of his big play ability. But, the major difference between he and Torrey is that Torrey had the luxury of playing against top tier talent. So the question is, can Jared Green make it to the NFL?

“There is no human in the world that played CB longer than me.” Darrell Green said. “I am the only human living that played 20 years at cornerback, when I judge him, I judge him fairly, and critical, he should have an excellent career. He is not perfect, but he is equally to most of the receivers I played against in the 20 years.”

Jared was invited to the HBCU Bowl and boy did he impress the scouts that attended. He talked with numerous NFL Teams to include Seahawks, Chargers, Falcons, 49ers, Eagles, and Chiefs during the HBCU practices and several other teams throughout the year. His father Darrell was there routing him on the same way Jared would do when he watched his father. They have each other’s backs. In 2008 Jared was the one that gave his father’s acceptance speech into the Hall of Fame back, but Jared is ready to begin his journey in the NFL.  If he can keep up the hard work, then maybe, just maybe one day, with a little luck, we could see Darrell giving Jared’s Speech to the Hall of Fame.