Although his high school team is thriving in his senior season, Deon Green can't wait for his Palmetto State homecoming.
A talented defensive tackle at Olympia High (Fla.) in Orlando, Green is a native of Orangeburg and his father still lives in the Midlands and works out of Columbia. So, the South Carolina commitment is excited about his future with the Gamecocks.
"I considered a couple of other schools, but when I visited South Carolina it just felt perfect," said Green, who committed to USC in June. "It's just going to be good to be there. I was just glad I was in the position that I had the option to play for them."
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder had 28 scholarship offers, choosing the Gamecocks over Clemson, Penn State, South Florida, Central Florida, Rutgers, Ole Miss, Northwestern, Wake Forest and Texas Tech.
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He has been an unstoppable force on the defensive line for Olympia over the last two seasons. He had 75 tackles and six sacks last year at end and has 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks and three quarterback pressures from his tackle position this season.
Thanks in large part to Green's contributions, the Titans are 7-1 and among the best team's in Florida's Class 6A, the largest classification in the state.
"Our defense ticks around Deon Green," Olympia coach Bob Head said. "He's our team captain and a vocal leader in the locker room. He allows our linebackers to make a ton of tackles, because he's getting double- and triple-teamed on every play. Every play they don't double team, he makes the play. If you don't commit three to him, it's over."
In last Friday's game, Ocoee (Fla.) had just 40 yards of total offense against Olympia. Head said that Green's backfield penetration threw off everything Ocoee tried to do in the running and passing games.
Head believes Green fits best as a 3-technique tackle in USC's defense since he has good speed. However, he could bulk up to 300 pounds or more and become a nose tackle. Head described Green as a "pretty sucker" with a lean build and small athletic ankles.
"I think I'll fit in well [at USC] considering the type of defense that they run," Green said. "They run at 4-3 and I think I'll be a 3-technique. ... I'm probably more of a run stopper. I get more tackles for loss than sacks."
Head believes Green is a great fit at USC.
"He's an impact player," he said. "He's really smart, coachable, he has the size and the speed and is a really committed and determined kid. I think he'll fit right in at South Carolina."