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Football Recruiting Report
Saturday, August 11, 2012

By Sammy Batten

Impressive film clip brings Green, ECU together

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

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 growth spurt.

“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) coaches.’ ’’

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 now.

“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.’’

E-mail Sammy Batten

PAGE UPDATED 08/11/12 03:40 AM.

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