Derrick Green is a 5-star running back that's highly regarded as one of the best recruits in the class of 2013, and he's a big target for two of the biggest programs in the country: Michigan and Auburn.
While Green does also have offers and high interest in Ole Miss, Oregon and Tennessee as well (according to his 247Sports interest list), let's focus on the Wolverines and Tigers in regards to their need for the 5-star running back.
Which of these two powerhouse needs Green the most?
Michigan has been a program high on Green's list for a long time now, and according to his quotes via Mike Farrell of Rivals.com, the 5-star 6-foot, 220-pounder back really enjoyed the visit he took to Michigan back in October:
The Michigan visit was nice...I was hosted by Denard Robinson and Roy Roundtree and the biggest thing for me was seeing how Michigan used their running backs and how the coaches worked with the players and coached the team. It was a really good atmosphere, the crowd was amazing."
I do personally believe that Green is Brady Hoke and Michigan's "must-have" recruit due to the fact that they're looking to transition to a pro-style offense, and Green projects to be a very complete runner at the college level.
He's big enough to be effective between the tackles, but 247Sports also has him down for running a 4.58 40, so he's fast enough to get to the second level and out-run defenders. He can be a physical runner but he can also be a finesse runner, which will make him a great fit in a pro-style offense.
Michigan definitely could use a back like Green for the future of their program to succeed, but all of that said, Auburn's situation is so desperate right now that when compared to Michigan, they need the 5-star running back much more.
Brady Hokes' 2013 class is very strong, ranked No. 4 overall by Rivals.com, and one could argue that the future of the Michigan program is very bright without Green. He would just be a bonus for Hoke and the Wolverines.
The Tigers on the other-hand are in dire straights...
They are currently in the midst of a 2-8 season (0-7 SEC) and head coach Gene Chizik is firmly in the hot seat. The one thing that may be his redeeming point this season is a very strong 2013 recruiting class featuring three 5-star defensive players in Reuben Foster, Dee Liner and Carl Lawson.
While their defensive future looks bright, this is still a program that is desperate for something in the here and now, and bringing in a running back like Green could be that boost that they need. Chizik may only have a 2-8 record to stand on this season, but if he can show Auburn that he's brought in yet another 5-star player into the fold, it just may buy him the time he needs to rebuild this program.
Starting over with a new coach and system will set the program back at least a few years, and that could hinder the potential that Chizik's 2013 class would be bringing to the table. That's also assuming that players like Foster, Liner and Lawson would stick around if Chizik isn't the head man.
That's what makes Green such an important recruit for Auburn. If they can bring him in, they'll have potential superstars on both sides of the ball entering the program. They'll also have a bit more hope for the future of this program, without needing to make drastic changes that will set them back in the SEC.
It could save Chizik his job with Auburn, which would in-turn, save Auburn the process of starting over.
Michigan can survive and excel without Green on board with their program. Auburn may not even excel with him as part of their 2013 class, but he at least gives them a shot at doing so.
Michigan could really use Derrick Green.
Auburn on the other-hand really needs him.