RB Keyante Green, who tried to commit to UGA a couple of weeks ago, has pledged to UCLA.
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound junior running back from Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, picked UCLA over UGA, Georgia Tech and South Carolina. Green said that Jim Mora, the ex-Atlanta Falcons coach who is now in charge at UCLA, was a deciding factor in committing to the Bruins.
“I believe in Coach Mora,” Green told the AJC. “Coach Mora is a really good guy with a lot of NFL experience. I remember when he was coach of the Falcons and winning playoff games. I want to play for a guy like him. I haven’t visited UCLA yet but I could see myself playing for him. He told me he wanted me to be a Bruin.”
Green was offered by UCLA during a long conversation with Mora on Sunday. The Bruins signed two seniors from the Atlanta area earlier this month, and now have junior commitments from one of the state’s top quarterbacks (Lassiter’s Eddie Printz) and running backs (Green). Printz and Green know each other from December’s RisingSeniors.com game, and Printz recommended that UCLA’s coaches study Green’s film.
“Coach Mora is a guy I trust,” Green said. “He went through his whole UCLA plan with me over the phone, how everything is going to be there. He told me he was looking for a few Georgia guys that were willing to work, and he wanted to me. I committed on Sunday, and then went ahead and made it public [Wednesday].”
What about UGA? Green said he was offered by the Bulldogs two years ago as a freshman and called a couple of weeks ago to commit to UGA. “They told my coach that they couldn’t honor my commitment because they had Derrick Henry out of Yulee, Fla., and that they could sign only one running back for the 2013 class. They said they could only sign one because they weren’t expecting to get two out of North Carolina for 2012 (Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley). They are only going to sign one for 2013, so they weren’t able to take me.”
How did Green feel about UGA’s response when he tried to commit? “I mean, it’s not their fault. They already had two guys signed and another junior committed with Derrick Henry. I guess it wasn’t meant to be. It’s no big deal.”
What about Georgia Tech? “It was too close to the house. I could’ve seen myself playing there. Everything was great about Georgia Tech with the coaches, the football program and the academics. It was just too close to the house.”
This past season, Green rushed for 970 yards and 16 touchdowns while leading ECLA to the Class A semifinals. Green, who missed five games with an injury, also played defense and finished with 104 tackles, including 21 for losses and 6 sacks.
Note: Derrick Henry is expected to enroll early, and may be counted backwards toward UGA’s 2012 class, leaving open the possibility of signing Alvin Kamara or another RB target for 2013. We’ll have to see how this all unfolds.
RELATED: Newnan safety Tray Matthews, who is committed to UGA, gave a jolt to some Bulldog fans on Wednesday night when he said on Twitter “My dad wants to go check out Alabama.” Matthews narrowly committed to UGA over Alabama last summer
BIG NEWS FOR UGA: Reuben Foster, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 overall prospect and is committed to Alabama, told the AJC that he plans to attend UGA’s Junior Day on Saturday. Foster is also involved in a controversy after his coach’s firing.
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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