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Nyland Green: Pregame Skittles, a Chucky Doll and a big upcoming decision

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry offers up a digest of information regarding 2021 elite cornerback prospect Nyland Green

Nyland Green appears to be a young man of great coordination drip, flair, sophistication, and character. With more layers than a prized Vidalia, watching him for a full gameday will cover the entire spectrum of possibility.

Please bear with this narrative for the next 16 profile-building sentences. We shall effort to share more information about Green than digitally possible across the span of the next seven paragraphs.

The nation’s No. 2 cornerback (247Sports) will eat full hands of Skittles before games, wear pink arm sleeves and match the color of the rubber bands on his braces to his sleeves. He sports an inexhaustible smile and will pull off a backflip before every game to lead his Newton Rams out of the run-through banner.

Nyland Green brings his Chucky doll from the “Child’s Play” movies with him to every game. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Green played receiver and cornerback last week against 7A McEachern. He picked off a pass and caught a diving 32-yard touchdown. He also serves as the long snapper for Newton so he rarely left the field. When he did get that snap off, he was always the first man down the field in the returner’s face covering the punt.

The 6-foot-2 senior cramped up something serious and after icing his calves and downing another handful of mustard packets he returned to the game. In doing so, he dropped what would have been the game-winning touchdown pass.

Despite being clearly distraught afterward, that forever smile returned and he showed the short memory of any elite lockdown cornerback by shaking off the play. When he did, he saw he had to lift the spirits of a nearly inconsolable Newton teammate. When he dropped the pass, it forced the Rams into a 31-yard field goal with seconds left on the clock. It sailed wide left.

Let’s rewind the night to just before game time. Green brought his Chucky doll from the 1980s serial “Child’s Play” movies out on the field. It is a game day ritual there. Green’s been bringing Chucky along as long as he’s been doing those flips before Newton games.

The same Skittles-chomping and Chucky-doll-clinging All-American aptly performed one of the most important aspects of leadership for any team sport.

Whew.

That just about covers the gamut of what some lucky team is going to get when they sign Green. With his mother being a lawyer, we tried the build the strongest possible case for any reader to decide Green is a must-sign for any powerhouse college program.

That’s the good stuff. That now frees up the rest of this narrative to explain all of that good stuff and also sum up the recruiting stuff for just one of a handful of remaining priority targets for UGA in the 2021 class.

Nyland Green-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Nyland Green ranks as the nation’s No. 6 cornerback and No. 77 overall prospect for the 2021 class on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Nyland Green: The habitual recruiting stuff

Let’s imagine his thoughts on the remainder of his recruiting are like a bag of Skittles. Let’s pop there out here in short order. Perhaps two or three at a time.

  • His decision still feels like about a month away
  • Focused on his senior year at this time
  • Said he doesn’t need to take any independent visits to lock in his choice. “I’ve seen a lot from when I was younger going around a lot,” he said. “I’ve got what I need. I just need to make the decision with me and my family.” 
  • The eventual choice here will be a 50-percent Nyland Green choice and a 50-percent family input decision. “We are all in this together,” he said of the Team Green decision.
  • Look for him to drop a Top 5 video in a couple of weeks
  • His decision has not evolved much of late. “It is just on me,” he said. “I have to come up with the best decision now that I have got to make.” 
  • He is clearly focused on his team. He sets aside only one or two days each week to get his communication in with college recruiters. 
  • Green said he would’ve been at the Auburn-Georgia game last week if visits were still a go. It was also interesting he said he’d have likely taken all his officials in the spring and summer.
  • He said he was always planning to make his decision late into his senior year. “I’m just chilling right now,” he said. “That was the plan all along.” 

When DawgNation checked in with Green in August, he said he was planning to make his college decision midway through his senior year. That would be mid-October. He updated that timeline this weekend by saying that not much has changed up at all.

“It is kind of a pause on all that,” he said. “I’m just focusing on my senior year with my players and prayers to try to be able to get through this season.”

Here’s a handy translation: Green is comfortable with consistently pushing back or saying his decision is “about a month” away because he doesn’t want his college decision to take anything away from the focus on his senior year and the Newton team rather than an individual spotlight moment like his college commitment.

He’s happy to just keep saying it will be in another month. Kind of like he’s at the line trying to shell out some press-man coverage to back the receiver down a bit.

“I might get it done in November,” he said. “That’s what I am trying to look forward to.”

Green said he will watch the defenses on Saturday from the schools he is closely considering. How they play together. How they work together as a team.

“Then the rotation of the guys,” he said. “Are they all having fun? If they are having fun, that’s what excites me and makes me put another check by their school’s name.”

He’s not lying there. Remember this is the guy with a Chucky doll, a handful of Skittles and who backflips on the regular. It seems he is all about having fun out there.

Georgia has had an extra edge or a helping hand in this process. Read on to discover just what that might be.

About that Chucky doll, the Skittles and that backflip ….

Green will have folks believing that a grown man (at least physically) can enjoy playing with a doll.

What’s the story behind that backflip? He sticks it before every game.

“I have never fell,” Green said. “Luckily. Not yet.”

Where does that Skittles fix come from? Is that also every game?

“Sometimes,” he said. “It just depends on how I am feeling. If I want a little snack before the game, I will go get some Skittles.”

Sports nutritionists might wince at that. But at least he doesn’t do usually go for more at halftime.

“Just a cold Gatorade,” he said. “Then stretch it out and get back out there. It doesn’t matter [which kind]. I love any type of flavored Gatorade.”

The “Child’s Play” movie franchise came out in 1988. That was the first of at least eight movies. There is now a TV series spinoff, too. The first film with “Chucky” came out some 14 years before he was born.

“I’ve always had the Chucky doll with me,” Green said. “It is all about we don’t play with kids. It is child’s play.”

That’s the same “Chucky” he has had since the ninth grade. That is his personal doll.

“I have to make sure I have that before every game,” he said. “I can’t forget it. If I forget it, then I have got to tell my Dad to bring it to me.”

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Nyland Green will long snap, play cornerback and receiver for his Newton High Rams. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

It is breast cancer awareness month. Football players for the last decade at least have been making that a regular thing in October. The same goes for Green.

Except he even coordinated his pink arm sleeve with pink rubber bands on his braces. That smile is contagious. It is certainly bound for an “after” picture level of stock ad photo for his orthodontist.

He’s always worn pink in October. The “Why so serious?” script on his sleeve last week was a nod for Heath Ledger’s Joker in the famed “Dark Knight” movie.

“I’ve always worn pink for October for breast cancer,” he said. “But I like that ‘why so serious’ part because that’s the Joker. So if you are guarding me on offense, you gotta be serious. I’m asking you ‘why so serious’ trying to come so hard when you are trying to guard me with that.”

What about that long snapping?

“I’ve always been the primary long snapper since the 10th grade,” he said. “It is just something I needed to do. Sometimes I really have fun with it.”

His snaps were mostly on target last Friday night. There was one though that sailed on him. By the time his punter gathered it in for the boot, he was about 10-15 yards away from the enemy punt returner downfield.

“That’s why I like being the long snapper,” he said. “I get to be the first person always down there.”

Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com “Before the Hedges” program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. 

It does seem like Nyland Green is always smiling. He is about as loose before a game as this reporter has seen in more than 20 years of covering elite high school and college athletes. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Nyland Green: Accountability and leadership sticks out here

He caught cramps in both of his calf muscles late in the game. That was after McEachern scored a late touchdown and added a trick-play two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.

Green subbed back in on that drive and missed a touchdown catch that would’ve won the game. With that, he offered no excuses about the cramping or a lack of his burst tracking down the ball.

“Some plays you make and some plays you don’t make,” he said. “It was just one that I tried to make but it just didn’t happen. Have to keep pushing on. Can’t let that keep me down.”

It looked like he could have made a big deal about being held by the man who was covering him. Green didn’t focus on that either.

“I just tried to make a bad play into a good play,” he said. “Both my hands hit it. It just fell through it. I was like ‘Dang’ with that.”

What was really important for him to move on from his “my bad” to comfort his crushed teammate?

“I tried to tell him he’s not the only person that makes mistakes,” Nyland Green said. “Everybody makes mistakes. I made one. I dropped the game-winning touchdown. We could’ve won. Just because he missed one little kick that he makes all the time he shouldn’t be done for a long time that. We are a team. We have to stay up and be there for each other together.”

“He’ll make the next one of those. Most definitely. I just had to pick him up. We are a family. We play together That’s my brother. We’re all brothers. Regardless of if he messed up or I mess up, if one of us messes up we are a team. We are a family.”

The Newton kicker there was apologizing to both Green and Javari Smith after that play.

“He didn’t have to apologize to us for missing that kick,” Green said. “It was one little kick that he normally doesn’t ever miss. That was one just one of his times he did miss it.”

That’s the way he ended his last game.

“I make sure I begin every game by giving every one of my guys a high-five and a handshake and make sure they are all ready to go,” Green said.

Nyland Green-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Teammates, man. Having your brother’s back. Nyland Green shows off the best of that right here. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Bottom lines: How is Nyland Green feeling about UGA? 

What’s the current thinking right now regarding the in-state Bulldogs?

“Man it is just an amazing vibe,” Green said. “I know so many people who go to Georgia now. They say that it is amazing down there. I hear all of that from them.”

Georgia redshirt junior cornerback Eric Stokes Jr. is a very charismatic dude. Kind of a lot like Green is now in a lot of ways. He just wasn’t that colorful when he was a high school senior.

To be fair to Stokes, very few high school seniors are.

“He’s coming at me with some knowledge on Georgia,” Green said. “That’s my boy. But he’s always telling me to pick the school which is best for me. Not just the school where he went. He is going to recruit for his school anyway but then he tells me to go wherever my heart desires me to go. He says that’s is where I need to go.

Those two are from roughly the same area. Green’s school and Stokes’ Eastside High are in the same Newton County school district.

“He tells me that Georgia is his home,” Green said. “That’s a real place for ‘Dawgs. He said that’s where all the real ‘Dawgs go to win and to roam around at.”

Green also wore an orange Bass Pro Shops hat before the game on Friday. He even lost his lucky black towel on that great diving touchdown catch. But those are stories for maybe the next Green update on DawgNation.

Nyland Green-Georgia recruiting-UGA recruiting
Nyland Green plans to be a cornerback in college, but he has the ball skills and size to be an immediate contributor at “Star” in college football. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

SENTELL’S INTEL

(the recent reads on DawgNation.com)

 

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