December 28, 2007

Green ready for shutdown duty

As commitment after commitment came through the pipeline for the Alabama 2008 signing class, a common question among close followers of the Tide's recruiting efforts was "where are the cornerbacks?"

With only a handful of offers to defensive backs from Coach Nick Saban's staff, it was clear that Saban would be selective about whom he extended invitations to for the unit he holds a special affinity for as a result of his background as a defensive back himself.

Early in the month of December, the drought was over when John Curtis High School cornerback Robby Green pulled the trigger for the Tide immediately after an in-home visit from Saban. Green, 6-foot, 185 pounds, was one of Alabama's top targets at the position and received an early offer from the UA coaching staff.

"Coming into this season, we thought our strength was in the secondary," said Green's Head Coach John Curtis, whose squad just wrapped up a state championship and 13-2 record. "Robby and the rest of our defensive backs would have to carry us until we developed a front-seven that was young and inexperienced. Robby was our shutdown corner and we didn't have to worry as much about our pass-rush because we knew it would be tough for receivers to get open."

Green picked Alabama over multiple offers from schools such as Penn State, Southern Cal, Arizona State and Florida.

"Robby made two of the biggest plays of our season early in the fall when against East St. Johns, he had a knockdown on a fourth-down pass in the endzone that was a perfectly thrown ball," said Curtis. "He just went up and made the play. In another game, he had a game-changing interception that turned the whole momentum for us. When we needed a spark, we got it from Robby. We never had to worry about his side."

Rivals National Recruiting Analyst Barry Every recently compared Green physically to former Tennessee star and current Miami Dolphin cornerback Jason Allen

"Something that Robby gives us that you don't see much from cornerbacks is great run support," said Curtis. "He is physical and isn't afraid to mix it up.

"Robby has nothing but upside from a physical standpoint as well as character development. He is a great kid that is a hard worker in the classroom and a leader on the field. We could not have survived the early part of our schedule with the youth on our defense without Robby making plays and stepping up."

A four-star recruit, Green is a full qualifier with a 2.8 GPA and 17 on the ACT.

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