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Pete Gilchrist makes so
many highlight videos of high school prospects for college coaches that
sometimes they all look alike.
Such was the case with the
one Gilchrist made after the 2011 season for North Forsyth High School's
Patrick Green. "I didn't really look at it closely,'' Gilchrist admits.
It didn't take long before
Gilchrist realized he'd overlooked some quality viewing featuring Green,
a 6-foot-2, 200-pounder with 4.6-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a
two-year varsity starter at linebacker. But a telephone call from new
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who joined the Tigers from
Oklahoma, only confirmed what Gilchrist knew without watching the video
— Green is a big-time talent.
"I had sent the video to
Clemson,'' Gilchrist said. "I know those guys (coaches) and I knew
they'd give me a feel for how they thought Patrick looked. Well, the new
defensive coordinator called me the day after they got the video and
told me, 'Why are you holding out on us about this kid?'
"I thought, 'Well, they
like him, let me send videos to some other schools.' ''
One of those "other
schools'' was East Carolina. The Pirates didn’t hesitate once they saw
Green’s highlight video, extending a scholarship offer in May that he
accepted in early June.
Green also had offers from
Ball State, Elon, Gardner-Webb and Richmond.
The fact Green has
developed into a major-college prospect isn’t surprising to Gilchrist,
who actually knew the player’s father, Patrick Green, Sr., during a
previous coaching stint in Winston-Salem.
“His dad was a pretty good
basketball player,’’ Gilchrist said. “I think he played at Saint
Augustine’s. But when I was in Winston-Salem back in the 90s we played
on the same softball team.
“I left here to go to
Charlotte, and when I came back his dad walks in and says, ‘What’s up?
That’s my son you’re coaching.’ ’’
Green, Jr., actually
played as a freshman at another school before transferring to
Gilchrist’s program as a sophomore. But it was evident from the start
that he had college potential, according to Gilchrist.
“He was long and he could
run,’’ Gilchrist said. “But at the time he was also committed to
basketball. Our basketball team has been very successful. Near the end
of his tenth-grade year, though, Patrick realized his ticket was
football. He committed himself to the weight room and also experienced a
“We saw him getting
taller, wider and thicker, and then he runs a 4.6 40.’’
A groin injury hindered
Green’s development as a junior when he made 29 solo tackles and 21
assists. But he showed what he was capable when healthy in a victory
against Reagan when he made 12 tackles and three assists.
“His film still looked
good even though he was never completely healthy,’’ Gilchrist said.
Green would go on to play
for North Forsyth’s basketball team, averaging 4.9 points and 4.4
rebounds for a team that went 24-5 and was ranked among the state’s best
in the 3-A ranks.
The spring plans for Green
included unofficial visits to several schools. But after taking a trip
to Greenville, Gilchrist said Green cancelled all the other visits.
“He came back from there
and said, ‘Coach, I’m done. I don’t need to go to anymore camps,’’’
Gilchrist said. “I told him to give it a couple of weeks and think about
it some more. But he came back later and said, ‘Let’s call the (ECU)
The Pirates have recruited
Green as an outside linebacker. But Gilchrist said he’s capable of
playing there, safety or even wide receiver.
“He’s like the Tommy Davis
kid who was at Georgia and is now with the (Carolina) Panthers,’’
Gilchrist said. “Davis was a safety at Georgia who went to linebacker in
the pros. Patrick could definitely play safety in college. But he’s
going to get bigger and stronger and faster because he’s only 17 right
“He has such great
instincts. When you watch him, he does things you can’t coach. I think
that’s what East Carolina recognized in him.’’