Rome High rising senior Stephiylan Green had his pick of elite college football programs to continue his career on the next level, but the impression Clemson made on him made their offer impossible to turn down.
Green, a top defensive lineman prospect, committed to the Tigers during a ceremony Wednesday night at the Rome College and Career Academy over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and several others. Green said at the end of the day, the whole package at Clemson was what pushed them to the top of his list.
“It just felt like home,” said Green. “I really loved it there when I visited, and I have faith in my position coach at Clemson (Nick Eason) that he is going to develop me and get me to where I want to be. “Coach (Dabo) Swinney is big on education, too, and I know I’m going to get my degree if football doesn’t work out so that was important to me. I think we’re putting together a great class there too. Everything just worked out and made me want to choose Clemson.”
Green is coming off a stellar junior campaign last fall for the Wolves in which he was one of the key pieces on a tough defensive unit. Despite usually being the focal point of opponents’ blocking schemes, he still racked up 53.5 total tackles, including 9.5 sacks and 12 tackles-for-loss to help Rome to a region title. He earned Rome News-Tribune All-Area Defensive Player of the Year honors and was also named all-state and all-region.
Green was already getting a lot of attention on the recruiting scene, but that strong junior season kicked his recruitment into high gear as the offers started to roll in from all over the country. He said that making his commitment now felt like a big stress relief as he prepares to go into his senior season.
“It’s stressful for sure,” said Green. “As soon as I got my first offer I was so excited and wanted to keep working to get more. But after everything got going like it has the last few months, it was a lot. I’m glad it’s over with now, and I am excited to commit to Clemson. I really liked and appreciate all the other coaches and programs that recruited me, but I’m glad I’ve made my decision and don’t have to worry about it as much.”
Green and the Wolves will open official fall practice in late July and play their regular-season opener Aug. 19 when they host Creekside at Barron Stadium as part of the Corky Kell Classic. He said that he and his Rome teammates have some big things in mind for 2022.
“We’re just continuing to grind and get ready for this season,” said Green. “We’ve got some big goals this year. We want to go undefeated and win a championship. I feel like we’ve got the team that can go all the way this year.”