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There hasn't been much for Ryan Green to celebrate lately.
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior running back from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Catholic saw his final high school season cut short with a torn labrum he suffered in the season opener.
|Florida State commit Ryan Green is rated the nation's No. 4 running back in the ESPN 150.|
Being a sideline cheerleader isn't a spot Green wants to get used to.
"I want to be out there playing with my teammates more than anything," said Green, who had surgery within a week of the injury. "It's been a tough couple of months, but I've learned a lot during this downtime.
"It's important to appreciate every opportunity you have to play and to always play hard and give a full effort."
Always the competitor, Green says the shoulder pain is gone and he's hoping he can play in St. Pete Catholic's season finale on Nov. 9 against Clearwater (Fla.) Calvary Christian. It will be a senior night, and one of the program's most storied athletes would like to play on his home field one last time.
However, Green's final game as a high school football player will come on Jan. 4 just 10 minutes down the road at Tropicana Field for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game.
Green is expected to be fully recovered by then. And on Friday, he received his game jersey as part of the American Family Insurance Selection Tour.
"I will be 100 percent for the Under Armour game," Green said. "This has been something I've worked for since I was a sophomore. To have the opportunity to play with the top players in the nation is very humbling."
Green ran for more than 1,200 yards and scored 14 touchdowns as a junior and rushed for 196 yards and four scores in his only game as a senior.
However, the versatile back expects to fill a different role at the Under Armour game.
"They want me to do a little bit of everything," Green said. "I'll be playing some slot receiver and handling some of the return duties. I might play a little running back, too."
Green, who could also play defensive back, expects his versatility to help him see the field early at Florida State. Rated the nation's No. 34 prospect in the ESPN 150, Green committed to the Seminoles in mid-June and has been solid despite another in-state program's overtures.
"I hear from Florida all the time," Green said. "Florida and Rutgers call me, but there's no question that my future will be in Tallahassee.
"I talk to coach Eddie (Gran) a couple of times a week and I also talk to coach (Jimbo) Fisher quite often. I am just so excited to get up there next year and find a spot. The program is on the right track and headed towards a championship. I thought they would get there this year, but it's going to happen soon enough."
Green's plan right now is to work toward being full healthy and continue to train. He'll be playing a little basketball for his high school in the winter and he promises to play hard for the dozens of friends and family expected to attend the Under Armour All-America Game.
"I should have a lot of people in the stands, a lot of friends from school cheering me on," Green said. "It's going to be a special day."
And Green hopes he can give them a memorable show.
"It would be nice to get in the end zone once or twice," Green joked. "That would be pretty good. But just playing in the game is an honor, and I want to take all of it in and enjoy every minute."