Traditionally, bowl games have been good for recruiting, showing the success of a team, allowing recruits visiting to check out the team practicing and so on. For San Antonio (Tex.) Madison running back Gary Green, 5-9, 165, the bowls are playing a major factor in where he is deciding to continue his playing career.
"UCLA and Kansas are my top two. I am going to watch them in their bowls and see how they use their running backs, check out their offenses. I want to make sure that where I go, I get a good chance to see what they do with their backs. I didn't get a chance to see a lot of UCLA and Kansas games this year, so the bowl game is going to tell me a lot."
Green took his official visit to UCLA this past weekend, and his host was freshman cornerback Trey Brown. Ironically, Green's father Gary and Trey's father, former UCLA legendary running back Theotis Brown, were teammates in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs, though Trey and Gary didn't know each other.
"Trey was real cool. Our dads played in the league together," said Green.
The shifty running back had what he called "a really nice time" when he made the venture West. "I mean, its L.A. You can't not have fun there. The weather was beautiful this weekend. We went to the basketball game on Saturday when they named the court for Coach Wooden. I saw Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson. All those guys. The fans were really into it. It was a nice day for Coach Wooden," said Green.
Green has already visited Pittsburgh and Wisconsin, but his top two schools, the Jayhawks and the Bruins, stick out. "My dad played at Baylor, but I am not really interested in them. It's basically UCLA and Kansas. They both lead in certain ways. One school has an advantage over the others in some ways, and the other school has the advantage. I am trying to evaluate each school's position."
Green was initially recruited by fellow Texan, UCLA secondary coach Gary DeLoach. After DeLoach identified him and began recruiting Green, running backs coach Eric Bieniemy got in the act. "Coach Bieniemy, I like him. He is real straight forward. He is tough on the guys, but he knows success. He knows how it is as a player and as a coach. He was in the league for nine years, so he knows first hand what it takes."
While Kansas was hammered in their bowl game, a loss to NC State in the Tangerine Bowl, Green will shift his attention to the Silicon Valley Bowl. "I'll watch that game and then I'll evaluate the two schools and make my decision. If I am ready developmentally-wise, I will play next year, if not, I'll redshirt."
Green is fully qualified.