Green is ready for work with football team


Published: Monday, June 23, 2008 at 11:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 23, 2008 at 11:49 p.m.

William Green committed to Florida days after making his official visit to Gainesville at the end of January because he said the school felt like the “best” place for him.

Truth is that UF always felt like the right place for the former Hoover (Ala.) Spain Park High School defensive end/linebacker, but he struggled to keep the University of Alabama out of the picture until the very end.

“It just felt like I was trying to force myself to want to go to Alabama more than Florida,” said Green, rated a four-star prospect and the seventh best outside linebacker by Rivals.com. “I had to stop trying to fight it and just go on ahead and go to Florida.

“At one point I was really trying to find a reason to really not like Florida. I couldn't find one, so I was like, 'Maybe this is the place I need to be.'”

Even after he publicly committed to the Gators, rumors of him still being interested in taking a final visit to Alabama swirled around internet message boards.

Green quickly squashed those rumors, stayed true to his commitment and will now report to Gainesville for summer workouts today.

The defensive hybrid spent his senior year playing half the time on the line and the other half at linebacker. Though he was a highly-rated linebacker in high school, Green said he will be primarily used as a defensive end at UF. He is expected to be in line to battle for playing time behind junior defensive end Jermaine Cunningham once he arrives.

Green said he has lowered his 40-yard dash time to 4.65 seconds and has increased his bench press to 295 pounds and is hoping that with the new shape he's in he can start to develop into more of a DeMarcus Ware-type player.

“He can stand up and guard off the edge and then put his hand down and pass rush,” Green said of the Dallas Cowboy linebacker. “I look at him and I'm not as thick as he is, but we probably have the same body frame and he kind of looks like me playing.”

At 217 pounds, the 6-foot-4 Green is a ways away from the 250-plus-pound Ware, but with the way he has taken to UF's offseason workout plan, he's making his goal a little easier to attain.

After receiving UF's weight lifting regimen — sent to all freshmen in order to prepare their bodies for summer arrival — Green said he wasn't too intimidated by it and was actually comfortable with most of the program.

“If anything I've been kind of used to some of the stuff they've been doing,” he said. “(The lifting routine) was really busy. It wasn't so much as complex with stuff you've never seen before.”

While Green is having no problem with the Gators' lifting program, he knows once he gets on campus his comfort level will change. Maybe not so much in the weight room but with the team's rigorous fitness program.

He said he's not nervous about it, but he's not expecting it to come as easy to him as lifting weights.

“I just look at it as you've got to do that type of stuff to be successful,” he said. “It's going to be hard, but anything worth having is not going to be easy.”

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