Droves of Michigan Wolverines fans are pacing their floors, biting their nails and eagerly anticipating the day that Derrick Green decides where he's playing college football.
The Hermitage High (Va.) 5-star sensation is ranked either the No. 1 or No. 2 running back in the 2013 class, depending on the source. Either way, he's the No. 1 target for the Wolverines, who are in need of a dominating presence in their backfield.
The 6'0", 220-pounder is the 14th-ranked prospect in the land and has offers from Ole Miss, Auburn and Tennessee, along with several others from high-profile programs.
The wait is nearly over. Green gave the news via his Twitter account (@BrOoKyLn_boii27)
I have decided to make my college announcement on january 26 at 4:00pm #truly blessed!! 🙏
— D.GREEN #⃣2⃣7⃣ (@BrOoKyLn_boii27) January 12, 2013
Only two more weeks until Wolverines find out if the next potentially great Michigan running back chooses between the Big Ten or SEC. If anything, the promise of a robust incoming stock of offensive line recruits could entice Green.
Playing time, of course, will likely factor into his decision, too.
Michigan has a gap to fill at running back. It's possible that Green could compete with soon-to-be-freshman Deveon Smith (Howland High; Warren, Ohio) for the coveted role of go-to man.
And perhaps even a little inside pressure from Wolverines pledges could be enough to sway Green toward Ann Arbor.
2013 Recruits Helping Michigan Land Green
David Dawson has a new role, it seems.
The Cass Tech Technicians’ star offensive guard is already committed to the University of Michigan’s 2013 class, but he’s giving Wolverines coach Brady Hoke and Co. a little boost in the recruiting push for Hermitage High (Va.) sensation Derrick Green.
In early January, during the Under Armour All-America Game in Florida, Dawson exchanged text messages with Green, who was in Texas at the time.
A friend of Green's, Dawson told the Detroit News the following about the “recruiting” efforts:
I think we have a good shot (at landing Green). We talk every day. I might send him a few texts, he might send me a couple back, and he might call. We talk a lot. He's a great guy off the field and on the field, so I think if we pick him up that's really going to help our recruiting class. The No. 2 running back — I think he should be No. 1.
That same week, Green played in the Army All-America Game in San Antonio. Again, he faced Maize and Blue influence—but that time it came from Wolverines commits Chris Fox, Dymonte Thomas and Jourdan Lewis, a teammate of Dawson’s at Cass Tech.
Green made light of the go-to-Michigan bombardment (via the Detroit News):
Unbelievable pressure, man.They hounded me every day, 'Michigan, Michigan, Michigan,' but I mean, I love these boys, they're like my brothers, and I just—it was a great opportunity to be out here and play with these guys.
It’s only natural for talented athletes to want to play with other talented athletes. We see evidence of that in professional trades and decisions to sign with a new team rather than stay put, at say…Cleveland?!
Stars want to win championships, and they know their chances increase when like players flock to a particular team. The same principle applies for collegiate athletes.
In Dawson’s case, why not help land one of the top backs? He’d benefit from Green having an incredible season—the entire Wolverines offensive line would.
Dawson saw something in Michigan that he obviously didn’t see in other potential suitors. He originally committed to Michigan, only to change his mind and take remaining official visits to other schools before being offered again by Coach Hoke late in the fall.
It’s quite possible that Dawson is doing Green a favor. The two are friends, and friends let other friends in on something good—that’s the way it should be, anyway.
It's Not In The Bag...But Relax a Little If You Can
After watching 2012 unravel in the form of an 8-5 record, Wolverines fans quickly turned their attention to the recruiting battles—it's the season after the season, and quite possibly the most exciting, given what's at stake.
David Dawson and Dymonte Thomas could have said enough to lure Green (click here to find out what Green's commitment would mean to Michigan).
Maybe Chris Fox struck a chord with the Virginia prep phenom. Maybe Green already knows where he's going.
Whichever the case, past hints in the forms of photos with Michigan commits and suggestive comments during interviews are shades...of something. Shades of Green's intention to go to Michigan?
Maybe. Maybe not.
But college football fans will know Jan. 26.
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81