Late at night on July 14, Gary Patterson and the TCU Horned Frogs picked up former Michigan Wolverine running back Derrick Green via the transfer market.
— Jeremy Clark (@JClarkHFB) July 15, 2016
Landing a running back like Green, who is eligible immediately to play as a graduate transfer, helps boosts the Horned Frogs chances of winning a Big 12 title.
Here’s an understatement: Green is a talented back.
Coming out of high school, he was a decorated recruit and an U.S. Army All-American. Green was a five-star prospect in the 2013 class ,according to 247Sports. The site ranked him as the No. 27 overall recruit and he was considered the fourth best running back in his recruiting class. He was also regarded as the third best talent out of the state of Virginia, which is known to produce high-level collegiate players on a yearly basis.
It is not like Green didn’t produce at Michigan. During his time as a Wolverine, he recorded 898 yards and seven touchdowns on 212 carries. In 2014, he was on pace for 1,000 yards before he broke his collarbone.
But what sort of impact will Green have on the purple and white this year?
TCU lost last year’s leading rusher Aaron Green this offseason, who rushed for 1,272 yards and 11 touchdowns, due to graduation. The good news for TCU is the two “Green” backs have similar running styles. Both Aaron and Derrick are able to run between the tackles or get the outside and break to the second level. They both make opponents miss by either running over them or juking them out of their cleats.
Coming out high school, Derrick was also a decent option out of the backfield in the passing game, a facet in which Aaron was utilized quite well in at TCU.
For all intents and purposes Derrick Green can fill the void that Aaron Green left in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Derrick Green will also give the Horned Frogs the opportunity to have a three-headed rushing attack again in 2016.
Before Green announced his transfer to TCU, last year’s backup, Kyle Hicks, was seen as the man to become the starter in the backfield entering the 2016 season. Hicks saw limited action in 2015, but he made his opportunites count. Last year, he carried the ball 55 times for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 13 passes for 104 yards and one touchdown. In those opportunities, Hicks flashed shiftiness and speed, which suits him since he’s only 5-foot-10.
The combo of Green and Hicks gives the Horned Frogs a thunder and lighting sort of running due. However, they’re only two-thirds of the now potential three-headed rushing attack heading into the 2016 season for TCU.
As the Horned Frogs lost their leading rusher Aaron Green due to graduation, they also lost their second leading rusher from 2015, quarterback Trevone Boykin, due to graduation as well. But TCU’s new potential starting quarterback, Kenny Hill, is almost the exact mold of Boykin when it comes to playing style — but Hill is the better passer of the two.
Hill rushed 156 yards in eight games in 2013 for the Texas A&M Aggies, but if you disregard the Ole Miss and Alabama games, he would have rushed for 171 yards.
Last year, the three headed rushing attack of Boykin, Aaron Green and Hick almost led the Horned Frogs to a Big 12 title. So with a potential backfield of Hill, Derrick Green and Hicks, it will create a sort of 2015 TCU offensive vibe in Dallas-Fort Worth.
If this year’s TCU offense is able to replicate or improve upon the 2015 offensive success while fielding a now healthy defense in 2016, the addition of Green may lead TCU to a Big 12 championship and quite possibly the college football playoffs.