5-star running back Derrick Green has an interest list that features two major programs going through a whole lot of uncertainty at the coaching position in Tennessee and Auburn.
Uncertainty and lack of direction is often times a huge detriment in the recruiting process, so it would be easy to count Auburn and Tennessee out of the equation for Green, and instead focus on the other teams that make up the interest list—Oregon, Ole Miss, Michigan and Miami according to 247Sports.
All of that said, does either Tennessee or Auburn still have a chance to land Green?
While their odds certainly went down, at least according to quotes via Mike Farrell of Rivals.com, Green feels his relationship with his potential position coach is most important:
However, the top back in the country does feel he needs a good relationship with his position coach to feel comfortable.
"That's big because you spend most of your time with that coach," he said. "If Tennessee doesn't retain Coach Graham or Auburn doesn't keep Coach Luper, that would hurt their chances. I'm not sure I'd eliminate them, but it would certainly hurt because I have such an important relationship with them."
While firing a head coach is never a good way to keep a recruiting class intact or draw in other elite recruits, Green does bring up an incredibly underrated aspect of the process that we don't give nearly enough attention to—assistant coaches.
More often than not, positions coaches and assistants are the ones developing relationships with recruits long before the head coach can, and as a result, end up forming a better bond and trust with them. Also, as a running back, Green will be spending the most time with his position coach at practice and in the film room, so having a good working relationship with that coach is crucial.
So is knowing who that coach will be going into a commitment, and therein lies the kicker for both Auburn and Tennessee.
If the assistants are retained by the new coach, especially Coach Graham and Coach Luper respectively for each program, they can feel good about their chances of landing the elite back.
If there is a change at those spots for either school, getting Green may get a whole lot harder.
It's been a rough season for both Auburn and Tennessee, but change is on the horizon. Not all change is good change though, so in regards to the recruitment of Derrick Green, a change in assistant coaches will probably lead to both programs losing out on his commitment.
They still have a good chance, but it all hinges on whether or not they keep their respective running back coaches in place.
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