By Brandon Speck
Marcus Green’s football name rose rather quickly. After an impressive showing at the Tupelo Combine, Green then clocked a 4.31 40-yard dash at Mississippi State’s Big Dawg Camp.
Is that just football speed?
“I haven’t seen a kid I can remember who is actually as fast as him and skilled with the ball,” North Pontotoc coach Chris Pettit said. “A lot of kids are quick and fast, but he is so skilled. I know one thing. If he was 6’2, everybody would be on him.”
Pettit isn’t talking about football. Green’s North Pontotoc basketball coach is talking hoops.
Green, who signed to play football with Louisiana-Monroe on national signing day, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing basketball at ULM, too.
But his football skills have grabbed so many headlines, people forget he’s averaging nearly 20 points per game for a talented Vikings basketball team.
Five days before signing day, Louisville called during basketball practice to inquire about football. It was offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.
“He was just calling to see who all I had offers from and stuff like that,” Green said. “He asked how tall I was and I told him. He’s like, ‘You’ve got that much juice at that height?’”
Green smiled and said he confirmed he did, indeed, have that much juice at 5-foot-9.
He was also contacted by Western Kentucky assistant Don Dunn before then-coach Bobby Petrino left for Louisville.
But basketball has been there even longer than football. Green was pulled to varsity as an eighth grader because Pettit said his skills were so advanced past anyone his age. He started a couple of high school games as an eighth grader and has started all four years of high school. He is now close to his 2,000th career point.
Pettit would love to see him continue his basketball career, too, but isn’t pressuring the guard, who he says is so much more than a shooter or handler.
“He’s always had a knack for it,” Pettit said. “His basketball IQ is so high. Film doesn’t do him justice. He can go in and get contact and finish. A lot of players his height can’t.”