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August 7, 2014

Green becomes a playbook scholar



Wesley Green realizes he has less than a month to prepare for his first college game, one where he's likely to see significant playing time. That's why the freshman cornerback spends his nights devouring South Carolina's playbook.

"I've been in it every night so far," said Green, a four-star prospect from Lithonia, Georgia, after Thursday's practice.

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Green's arrival at South Carolina was delayed until July 31 by academic issues, meaning he missed summer workouts and the chance to get acclimated to the college environment before things begin to speed up in preseason practice.

The past week has been like a crash course, Green said, noting how much faster, stronger and more physical players are at South Carolina than back in his old comfort zone of Martin Luther King High School, where he snagged five interceptions his senior year.

But after a somewhat jarring transition to the college game, Green said it's starting to slow down for him, partly due to his growing understanding of what's going on around him during practice.

Green has even enlisted his girlfriend to help him learn the playbook, reciting every scheme and variation to her so he knows them by heart the next day in practice.

"She's doing mostly listening," Green said with a laugh, adding later: "I'm starting to get a great feel of it."

The 5-foot-10-inch, 176-pound defensive back has spent time working with the first-team in practice, competing for one of the two starting cornerback jobs with fellow freshmen Al Harris Jr. and Chris Lammons and senior Brison Williams.

Green says that competition has fanned the flames of his growth.

"It feels pretty good knowing that you're getting better and to have somebody behind you pushing you to get better," Green said. "So during practice situations, it makes competition better and makes you want to better yourself each and every day."

Green said he's working especially hard on his man-to-man coverage skills as well as his patience on the line of scrimmage, something he says Brison Williams is teaching him.

It also helps, Green said, to have other freshmen going through the same process. They've all worked to get better together, Green said.

"If we had a certain gray area that we weren't so good at, we'll just go over there a few times and make sure we get it down pat for the next practice," Green said.

Despite secondary coach Grady Brown's revelation Tuesday night that he would be open to starting a freshman or two at cornerback this season, Green said he isn't worrying about being named the starter for the Aug. 28 season opener.

"I just try to come out here and do the best that I can each and every day, and whatever happens, it happens," Green said.



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