Clarence Green (6'0, 220, Sr.)
2014: 12.0 tackles, 1 QB hurry
2013: 1.0 tackles
2012: 0.5 tackles
Bill C.: We always have a thing for the younger guys. As it became clear that neither Donavin Newsom nor Clarence Green were separating themselves in the battle for starting SLB last year, most of either assumed or simply hoped that Newsom, a year behind Green (and more touted from a recruiting perspective) would eventually win the job. It seems like Newsom has eased ahead of Green this August, but Green's going to play a solid amount, and that might be a good thing. He was a play-maker during spring ball, and lord knows that, over the last four years, he's put in the work to earn some shots on the field.
Plus, the man's got some hair.
"Everyone has watched Clarence’s dreads grow," said Denzel Martin, who is in his first year as a recruiting graduate assistant for the Tigers after playing for them as a walk-on linebacker. "Everybody’s talked about them."
They certainly lend Green a unique look on the field, contrails dragging in his wake as he patrols the field for the Missouri defense. Fellow senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers said Green works under the theory that every player with dreadlocks has to be a big hitter. Just look at Markus Golden, who lived with Martin and Green.
That’s kind of the gist, Green said. But with more nuance.
"Most people you see with dreads, they grew them for a reason," Green said. "It symbolizes strength. Everybody went through the rough stages, and then you see them growing and they look beautiful. That’s the real truth about them."
The Beef: Kudos to Green for getting on the stat sheet each season he has played so far. Currently the #2 behind Newsom (which is a position that does not see the field a ton already), I imagine Green won't have too much more than what he had in 2014.
AlaTiger: I whiffed on my assessment of Green last year. I thought that with Newsom passing him, he’d be one of those guys who quietly graduates and leaves after his redshirt junior year. Well, Green played over a third of the snaps at SLB and seems to be primed for his best year yet, as the aggressiveness of Odom’s scheme seems to suit him.
Fullback U: Clarence Green is another linebacker who struggled to see the field due to schematic factors rather than his own ability. In an interview during fall camp, both Green and Newsom mentioned frustration at not being able to see the field because of the 4-2-5. But both seemed to hint that the new "multiple looks" Barry Odom was installing would have them on the field more and in complementary schemes.
Green is going to be an ace backup for Barry Odom, asked to cover receivers underneath in a similar manner as Michael Scherer and be a guy who can spell anyone in the linebacking corps. Perhaps he won’t wow fans with his stats but he can be a high quality glue guy who can also make plays.