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    BLOG: Green Brings Balance to the Backfield

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    He was an eighth-grade running back at Coyle Middle School in Garland, Texas, when he received the tape from his oldest brother Eric. It starred the late, great Bear Walter Payton, whom he immediately adopted as a model. "He was just a hard-nosed runner. He was always north and south," 'Cat true freshman Treyvon Green says when asked the reason for that. "I wouldn't say he's a normal running back. He stiff-arms. But then again he has a little skip move he does. I'm trying to master that move right now. Hopefully, I'll get to that."

    And did he try to master that move back then?

    "Actually, I did," he says with a smile.

    "After school in practice I used to go out there and try to do a couple of his moves. Actually, one time, I twisted my ankle trying to do one of his moves. So I had to lay off it for a little while."

    ******

    Saturday night, when the 'Cats host Michigan, the spotlight will swing onto 18-year old Treyvon Green, who will be asked to fill much of the void created when Mike Trumpy tore his ACL against Illinois. He, then, also will be burdened by high expectations, but when confronted with that issue, Green will simply say, "Honestly, sir, I don't know what pressure is. All I know is what they (the coaches) want me to do and that's what I'm going to execute on Saturday. A lot of people will say now that Mike is down I'm going to have more pressure, the running backs are going to have more pressure. We might not be as good. But we work hard everyday and I know we can go out on Saturday and execute the play."

    And why is he so immune to pressure?

    "My mom always told me pressure busts pipes. I don't want my pipes ever to be broken. I don't want to break down. I want to stay strong."

    ******

    His mom, Felecia Green, was a single parent who worked three jobs while Green and his two older brothers were all in the house. That often kept her busy until two in the morning, which meant he got to see her little, but always she managed to be there on Saturdays for his games. It is no wonder, then, that he says, "My mom's a great inspiration to me. I talk to her everyday, just to see how she's doing and what's going on in her world. She taught me a lot, how to be solid. You don't have to depend on anybody else. Be your own man. That's part of the reason I came out here. Just to be away from home and to grow on my own. I felt like she set that up for me and there was a reason that Northwestern offered me."

    ******

    It was in the spring of 2010 that 'Cat running back coach Matt MacPherson traveled to Rowlett High School, where Green was finishing up his junior year. "He said he liked me then (before he left)," he remembers, and there was good reason for that.

    "He reminded us a lot of (former 'Cat great) Tyrell Sutton," says head coach Pat Fitzgerald. "Same kind of feet, same kind of balance, power. That's what we thought about when we looked at him on his high school video. And Ty, Tyrell was pretty good for us."

    This is why it didn't take the 'Cats long to decide and, approximately a month after MacPheson's visit, Fitzgerald phoned Green and tendered an offer. "I remember I was in the car with my mom, we were on the way to see my grandmother," he recalls. "I was in the back seat and he called me. He had so much energy, he pumped me up a little bit. My mom's saying, 'What's wrong? What's going on? What's going on?'

    "I'm like, 'Coach Fitz just offered me.'

    "She said, 'You love that school. You've got to accept. You've got to accept.'

    "So, you know, I talked to my family a little bit and a couple hours later I called Coach Fitz and made my commitment."

    ******

    He rushed for 1,456 yards (5.9 ypc) and 19 touchdowns as a senior, graduated with academic honors (3.5 GPA or higher) and soon enough was up in Evanston and on campus, where he took summer school classes in bioethics and African-American photography. He also, of course, trained with the returning 'Cats, which was the primary reason he had quickly moved north. "I just felt it would be a better chance for me to play early," he explains. "I felt if I get in, get acquainted with the team, form that bond early, then it would be easier for me to adapt to college football."

    "Treyvon came in and picked up the system pretty quick," says Fitzgerald. "Then his size gives him a chance to run through some things that maybe in the past we weren't able to get through. We would have loved to have redshirted him like we talked about in camp. But you can never have too many backs. That's why we decided to play him right away."

    "Just his, one, knowledge of the system," the senior running back Jacob Scmidt echoes when asked how Green so quickly made his way onto the depth chart. "He came in right away and picked it up fast. We say a lot around here that knowledge is power. So that gave him the opportunity to get on the field. Then, once he did, he's taken advantage of it."

    ******

    He was admittedly nervous for the season opener at Boston College, where he gained three yards on his single carry, but a week later he went for 70 yards on 14 carries against Eastern Illinois. He got just one carry again against Army, gaining one yard, but last Saturday in Champaign he responded by going for 67 on 17 carries. "My confidence level has gone really high," he says now. "I'm not overconfident, but I'm right there, just enough to play and contribute to the team. My first game, like I've said, I was nervous. First game, big lights, lots of people. Now I'm more zoned into my skills and what the O line is giving me. I'm more into the scheme."

    "I think he's a special runner, he's a special athlete," says Schmidt, another of those who will be asked to fill the void created by Trumpy's absence. "He's dynamic with the football. He's got really good vision. But at the same time he's young. He's got to work on his pro (pass protection) a little bit and just hitting the lane when he sees it. But, at the same time, he's got skills and he's going to help us a lot now and in the future."

    ******

    "I'm a very balanced back," the 5-foot-10, 215-pound Green said back when he committed to the 'Cats.

    Which means?

    "I have enough speed to break away. But then again I can go through the middle and collide with linebackers," he will finally say. "I figure that a lot of running backs nowadays, I see more speed backs than balanced backs when I'm watching tape. I want to be different from the normal running backs in college football. I want to be able to break a tackle and to break away for a 70-yard run."

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