Before the Grayson football team left for camp in Covington last week, Joseph Champaign asked teammate Shawn Green what he wanted for lunch.
The 6-foot-1, 275-pound Green asked for a small chicken nugget, no fries, a water and a side of honey mustard.
It’s not exactly the kind of order you would expect to hear out of a massive lineman.
“That’s just something I need to eat now,” Green said.
On the football field, Green’s appetite is much bigger. After leading the Grayson football program to its best season in school history last year, Green has much bigger goals his senior season.
“Definitely, as a team goal we want to win a state championship,” Green said. “My goal, I just want to improve as an overall player and leader.”
Green turned in an impressive season last year recording 61 tackles and five sacks while routinely drawing double team blocks. That allowed inside linebackers Jonathan Langston and Terry Williams to be among the county’s top tacklers last season.
“He’s 6-1 and is not extremely tall, but he plays low and with great leverage,” Grayson Coach Mickey Conn said. “I think that helps him explode into folks and destroy an offensive line.”
Green had his best game in the Rams’ win over defending state champion Lowndes last year. He matched up against the Vikings’ Ed Christian, one of the top offensive lineman prospects in the state who is committed to Florida.
“He’s a big clog right there in the middle. He clogs it up pretty good,” Conn said. “Lowndes County is a good running football team and he stuffed that middle pretty good. What he can do inside he forces teams to run off tackle and throw the football because it’s hard to run at him because he takes two blockers.”
Grayson finished 13-1 last year, winning its first Region 8-AAAAA title. The Rams lost in the semifinals in overtime to Peachtree Ridge, one game away from a state championship game berth.
“Every time someone feels like quitting, we say remember last year,” Green said. “We want to go another step to the championship.”
A football player since he was 8 years old, Green was always the biggest kid on the field and dominated. Conn still remembers the first time he laid eyes on Green and the potential he had to be a standout player.
“I knew when he walked in the door he was going to be special,” Conn said. “His personality for one. The other thing I saw was he was very committed as a freshman. He was coming to freshman workouts. I wasn’t sure he would be able to start for us on the varsity as a sophomore, but he did and then some. He was really good.”
Green made his first varsity start the second game of the 2007 against Peachtree Ridge, who was coming off a share of the Class AAAAA state title.
“When the lights came on he was Shawn Green. It was great,” Conn said.
Since then Green has started every game for the Rams, who are 23-4 the last two seasons.
Green began garnering the attention of college scouts in March when picked up his first offer from East Carolina. By the time July rolled around he had scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the country like Florida State, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech. Green committed to the home-town Yellow Jackets last month where he hopes to be part of a program on the rise.
“It’s a good school academically,” Green said. “With their program, what they are about to do, I want to be a apart of it. They are going to be a very good program. I like how I’ll fit in their D-line. I like their scheme and a lot of the stuff they do, we do right now. It should be an easy transition.”
Green was eager to make his college decision before the season started so he could focus on one thing — a state title.
“We all just want the same thing. That’s our slogan right now — one team, one dream,” Green said. “And our dream is a state championship this year, so we’re going after that.”