ALL COUNTY FOOTBALL: Green the main cog in Grayson defense

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Shawn Green attracts a lot of attention.

Maybe it's because of his size. He's 6-foot-1, 275 pounds. It could be because he led a Grayson team that was ranked No. 1 for most of the regular season. Or it might be because he's going to play for Georgia Tech next season.

Whatever the reason, Green likes to hide from the recognition.

"He's not a front-runner in wanting a lot of attention, so he's kind of a shy guy," Grayson head coach Mickey Conn said.

It's that humility Conn loves to rave about Green. But he's also a pretty good football player. The Grayson defensive tackle battled double teams all season and still terrorized defenses with 50 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and four sacks to earn Daily Post Defensive Player of the Year honors.

"I felt like I had a good season," Green said. "I kind of controlled the line of scrimmage, not many runs came up the middle. I should have done a little better pass rushing and I think I played a lot more physical than last year because I knew what to expect."

You get a hint of what Conn talks about in just that statement alone. To outsiders Green had a great season, not a good one like he put it. He might think he controlled the line of scrimmage when a better term would be dominate. And though many people applaud his efforts, he still finds ways he can improve.

"His humility will always stick out to me," Conn said. "He would do anything for anybody."

And he did do anything for his teammates. Green would pick up and take home teammates from practice during the summer, he helped coach Grayson youth camps and football practices as well. That's in addition to be the best run stopper in the county.

"You don't see that with guys that get that kind of attention," Conn said. "A lot of players get their name in the paper and get too big for things like that."

Green was three-year starter for Grayson and during that time helped lift the Rams defense and program to among the state's best. Grayson has compiled a 35-5 record during that time, which includes two Region 8-AAAAA titles and national recognition from USA Today and other national polls. Grayson's defense has been among the top three in the county for fewest yards allowed and points scored.

A big part of that has been Green clogging up the middle.

"We got a lot of good defensive players on our team, but with him he's a big presence in the middle," Conn said. "He demands a double team and that frees up others to make plays."

To give you an idea of his athleticism, Green jumped up and intercepted a pass early in the season against Dacula. His best game was against Region 8-AAAAA rival Brookwood, where he posted nine tackles, including four for loss and a quarterback hurry.

"I try to get after it every play, run my hardest and just be more physical than the guy in front of me," Green said.

Conn still remembers the first time he saw Green step on campus and knew he could be a great player for the Rams. You could argue he's the best defensive lineman Grayson has ever produced, but Alabama defensive lineman Lorenzo Washington might have something to say about that.

One thing is for sure, he's a major Division I talent, something Conn didn't fully appreciate until last year.

"Shawn, I felt like could take over a game. I didn't know how good he was until I watched his highlight film we put together for recruiting after his junior year," Conn said. "We knew he was good, but when you watch that film, it's pretty amazing what he could do.

"That Lowndes game, against the No. 1-ranked team in the state, that was his coming out party and he just dominated."

Green will sign with Georgia Tech in February where he hopes to get some playing time for the ACC champions next season. He'll be one of a dozen standout players on the Yellow Jackets' roster, which is fine with Green since he doesn't like a whole lot of attention anyway.

"He's meant a lot to our defense. He's done such a great job with handing everything he's accomplished," Conn said. "He's a humble kid and that's what I admire about him. As good as Shawn is, it's all about the team and doing the best for the team."