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Minnesota Football Recruiting: Seth Green Flips from Oregon to Gophers

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A week after losing a quarterback commitment for the 2016 class and a consensus four star offensive linemen, Tracy Claeys bounces back on the trail by flipping a four star quarterback familiar to many in the Twin Cities who'd previously been committed to a power program.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Empire Class +1.

Not a program savior, but an athletic QB with tools to develop for five years


Allen (TX) HS dual threat quarterback Seth Green committed to the Golden Gophers tonight, becoming the 18th prospect in a class reshaped by new head coach Tracy Claeys. The former East Ridge star who transferred to play his senior year at Texas powerhouse Allen High School is a 4 star prospect according the the 247 Industry Composite, flipping from Oregon to Minnesota; Green's previous finalists included the Ducks, Gophers, and Michigan State, with listed offers from Texas, Louisville, Wisconsin, Iowa, Pittsburgh, Illinois, and Toledo. A December graduate, Seth is eligible to participate in 2016 spring practice. Green fills the void at quarterback after Tony Poljan's de-ccommitment, and returns the number of 4 star prospects in the 2016 class back up to 3 once Sean Foster and Minnesota parted ways.

Minnesota has the 32nd ranked class according to the 247Sports Industry Composite, good for 8th in the Big Ten.

Quotables

ESPNU evaluation($):

Green has many impressive traits and he is both efficient as a passer and runner. Is a cut above this level of competition and really stands out. Is the ideal spread offense fit and should see significant power five conference recruitment. Has technical upside to mold and polish and his athleticism makes him ultra-attractive.

(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**

** The section title is a bit. It's an intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.

Height: 6'4"
Weight: 218 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: 4.83s electronic
SPARQ Rating: 106.95

Big 4 Ratings:

Site Stars Rating Position Rank
247 Composite 3 .8871 11
247 3 86 26
Rivals 3 5.7 21
Scout 4 - 19
ESPN 4 82 12

Highlights

Senior year highlights:

Thoughts

Absurd Comparisons

People may balk at this, but that's the point of absurdity. Given his strong and athletic build, good open field running ability, playground-style mentality on the field, and good arm strength on deep passes, Green compares well to current Gopher starting quarterback Mitch Leidner -- with higher upside. Green will arrive on campus with more polish as a quarterback than Mitch, the product of spending a year down in Texas under the tutelage of Allen HS coaches and their video game offense. Given time, Seth could develop into a mobile quarterback more than capable of executing the zone read effectively, with mobility to roll out and throw on the move. He can also throw darts on some of the tougher deep-outs and slants when he plants his feet and uses his legs to drive the ball.

Scheme Fit

First, a disclaimer. Green is an Oregon flip on paper exclusively, since the Ducks and Seth mutually parted ways in early October after they asked him to switch positions; Green said thanks, but no thanks to the prospect of playing tight end. The Helfrich-era Ducks have legitimate questions of their own regarding quarterback scouting and development, to the point where they had to sign a grad transfer in Vernon Adams this season to fill the void left by Marcus Mariota. The Ducks panicked when Green wasn't named Allen's starting QB outright last spring, and actively began recruiting additional QBs after Green's relatively disappointing summer camp performance where he wasn't selected for the Elite11 finals. Oregon flipped Terry Wilson from Nebraska in September, then grabbed an unranked local QB prospect Justin Herbert rather than stick with Green. Even now, despite his 4* status, there are questions regarding his upside as a passer from the Midlands/Texas area recruiting analysts. To wit, Allen HS platoons Green with Mitchell Jonke, and Jonke has been the go-to quarterback for the undefeated Eagles during their playoff march; previously the two had split snaps each game, with the Allen staff riding the hot hand at QB.

That said, I view Green as an equivalent prospect to Tony Poljan at a minimum -- and Green arrives with more polish at a higher level of high school competition than the Michigan giant. He's improved on a number of his weak spots from his time at East Ridge, most notably using his feet and legs to set and drive the ball on deeper throws. Seth had a tendency to rely upon his arm with substandard mechanics against Minnesota competition, something the Allen coaches spotted and fixed under their watch. He needs to work on consistently repeating these mechanics on every throw -- especially under duress -- but he does have the physical tools to make all the throws. From a development perspective, he has a ways to go diagnosing/reading defenses, knowing when to put touch on certain passes, and reigning in his natural gunslinger mentality to play under control within the structure of an offense.

Green would have fit very well under Matt Limegrover's offense given his strength and running ability, so it remains to be seen whom Claeys hires as his offensive coordinator/QB coach and what direction they want to take the offense. I'll caution folks that Green shouldn't be viewed as a savior, even with his four star rating and Junior year offers from powerhouses like Oregon, Michigan State, and Texas. He'll need time to adjust and learn an offense utilizing more play action passes and FB/TE involvement compared to Allen's 4 WR Air Raid spread. Ideally, Green would play in an offense taking advantage of his strong arm on deep throws, move the pocket to cut down his reads and give him the option to scramble, and involve him in the running game. Forcing Green into a pocket passer role would be a mistake.

Impact on Other Prospects?

The staff's plan is to grab two quarterbacks for the 2016 class, both of whom will likely be high school prospects opposed to a HS and a JUCO QB. Don't expect former commit Tony Poljan to return, who ironically will likely end up a tight end for Nebraska. The main name to watch is Memphis commitment Keon Howard from Mississippi, a recruit the staff has eyed for months as a potential second name in the class -- even when Poljan was in the fold. Howard is scheduled to visit Dinkytown in late January, and between he and Green, Howard is the better pure pocket passer of the two. The staff would love to haul in Green and Howard, though they're kicking the tires on some JUCO options in case Keon opts to stay at Memphis or picks up late SEC interest.