Derrick Green Decision Date: Will Tennessee or Auburn Upset Michigan for 5-Star?

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 21, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

5-star running back Derrick Green is an elite running back recruit from the 2013 class, and he's set to make his decision on Saturday, January 26th at 4 p.m. EST.

The three schools in the running for the talented running back are Michigan, Auburn and Tennessee. Green is getting interest from outlier schools like Florida and TCU, but his final three will consist of the Wolverines, Tigers and Volunteers, according to Mike Farrell of

This week Green isn't sure when schools are coming in, but knows that Michigan, Tennessee and Auburn as well as TCU will be visiting.

"TCU is because coach Luper is now there and he was my recruiter at Auburn and I like him a lot," said Green. "But TCU isn't in my final three, it's Michigan, Tennessee and Auburn. I know my last in-home visit will be Wednesday and then I will take Thursday, Friday and Saturday to be with my family and make my decision."

If there's a program heading into this final "homestretch week" that should be feeling good about its chances, it would be the Michigan Wolverines.

Of the three programs left in the running, the Wolverines are the only program that didn't start over with a new head coach, and Green was very open about that giving the Wolverines an edge back in December. It appears as if Michigan has been able to hold on to that advantage since that point, as the Wolverines enter into the final stages of his recruitment on top of his 247Sports interest list.

Will either Auburn or Tennessee be able to pull off the upset and come away with Green's commitment on the 26th?

Frankly, the odds of that happening are very low.

If there was a program that could make a late push, it would be Auburn. Here's what Green had to say about a recent in-home visit with Auburn, per Farrell's report:

Coach Malzahn came in with the new running backs coach and they left a very good impression. We watched some film, talked about Auburn's running back tradition, especially with big backs and coach Bisaccia has NFL experience so that's good and he knows his stuff.

For all intents and purposes, it appears as if Gus Malzahn is the right guy for the job at Auburn, and he'll slowly but surely turn things around on the recruiting trail for the Tigers. Landing Green would be a huge win, and Auburn does offer the 5-star back the chance to play in the SEC in an offensive system that will put up a ton of points.

That said, Michigan's pitch is just as good, and the kicker is the fact that the Wolverines' aren't rebuilding. At this point, Brady Hoke's program is ready to compete in the Big Ten while transitioning to the pro-style offense, and Green fits the mold of what Michigan is trying to do perfectly.

The Wolverines can line Green up in the pro set and ask him to run the ball 20 to 25 times a game, and he'll be extremely effective between the tackles. He runs extremely strong and runs with great forward motion, but he also has the ability to make one cut and create a different running lane. 

He's quick and agile enough to run off the edge and collect chunks of yards at a time, though, so the Wolverines won't be considered one-dimensional in the running game when he's in the backfield. And Green can leak out into the flats and be a receiving option on screen plays and flair routes as well.

He really is the perfect fit for the pro set, and that may be what gives Michigan the ultimate advantage—especially with Malzahn running a spread at Auburn.

Furthermore, Michigan can offer Green consistency, the opportunity to compete and the opportunity to play a major role for one of college football's most prestigious football programs. 

Michigan has held the edge for a while now, and that's for good reason. Barring a last minute pitch for the ages by either Auburn or Tennessee, there's really no reason to believe that the Wolverines won't come away with Green's commitment this Saturday.

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