In my opinion

Coach Green takes wisdom from field to sidelines

 

When Lamont Green left Southridge in 1994, he was a heralded football star on the way to FSU. A lot has happened over the past 18 years.

Considered one of the top linebackers of all time in the state of Florida, there was simply nothing this quality athlete couldn’t do. He was big, fast, smart and considered a “can’t miss” prospect by those who had watched him play.

At FSU, he was the defensive catalyst for the Seminoles, who coveted the No. 1 linebacker in the nation. He represented a rare kind of player nearly 20 years ago. Someone who was coveted as a football player, but applauded for his character and work in the classroom.

Although injuries cut Green’s career short — he found over the next few years what he was really meant to do. From the dominating linebacker who could run down any back or quarterback, Green began to channel is knowledge into coaching.

Whether it was in Tallahassee — where he learned from some of the best like Mickey Andrews — to relying on greats such as Don Soldinger, Green was actually was like having a coach on the field. He could see things that other players, and even some coaches, couldn’t recognize. Green was that good.

His success as a coach, although it wasn’t something that happened overnight, has been amazing. For those close to him, following Green throughout his playing career, this is not a surprise. In fact, after leading South Miami to a rare playoff appearance, and a win against Miami Krop in the opening round last year, Green got everyone’s attention.

Known throughout his career as a “no-nonsense” type of player, Green turned the Cobras around in one season because of the discipline and the demands he made on his athletes. Nobody expected anything less.

“You come into a situation where they haven’t won a lot and you have to immediately change the culture,” Green said. “That’s what we had to do last season.”

The success Green enjoyed in 2011 was certainly a door-opener to return to his alma mater. When Pat Burrows (now at Homestead) stepped down, the writing was all over South Miami Heights. One of the best to have ever played in this star-studded program was indeed returning. Green had left nearly 20 years ago with big dreams. At 35, he comes back with those same dreams.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Green said. “What we did last year at South Miami really matured all of us and taught us many things that we will use back here.”

As Green comes back to his alma mater, he looks around to find some quality talent, including big time senior prospects such as Jamal Carter and Lamar Robbins, who both play in the secondary. He has potential at running back with 2014 prospects Jamal Adjamah and Leshone Garnett. But the position where Green is perhaps the deepest is at linebacker.

How coincidental it would be that in his first season back, Green’s linebackers would be considered the deepest and best in the state. It is something that he will not hide, and when he speaks about the group of Terrance Brown (5-11, 210 pounds), Alex Philon (6-0, 215), James Atkins (6-0, 205), Akil Knowles and Daryl Rolle, Green does some boasting.

“Wow, these kids are good,” Green said. “Just hard workers who really want to achieve and lift this program up. They are big, quick and physical and willing to make sacrifices to getting better.”

All-star honors

While the 2013 Under Armour all-star football game is still months away, some locals have already committed to playing in the annual event, which is held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg,

Among those who will spend the week practicing at Disney’s Wide World of Sports include University School receiver Jordan Cunningham and defensive tackle Maquedius Bain, Northeast receiver Stacy Coley, St. Thomas defensive end Joey Bosa, Booker T. Washington linebacker Matthew Thomas and Northwestern cornerback Artie Burns.

We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current classes of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. All you have to do is send a DVD and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein, P.O. Box 3181, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009.

To comment, email floridakids1@aol.com. Follow Larry on Twitter at twitter.com/ larryblustein

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