Versatile Green means go for Seahawks’ hot offense

Dean Boyd knows what Jermani Green can do.

Boyd, the Marlboro County coach, has seen the Myrtle Beach senior go off against his team in three straight games.

There was the game a little over a month ago, when Green ran for 100 yards and caught nine passes for another 42. There was the time last fall when Green went for 114 rushing yards and three touchdowns against the Bulldogs while also intercepting a pass and recording three tackles on defense. And then there was the time, when Green was a sophomore, when he piled up 167 rushing yards and a touchdown and 44 more yards worth of receptions.

Boyd’s squad will be heading to Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium on Friday for the two teams’ second-round playoff game, and the Marlboro County coach admits maybe he’s not the best person to ask for advice on slowing down Green, one of the primary cogs of Mickey Wilson’s offense.

“As far as our strategy in the past, [it] does not sound good by the numbers he has put on us,” Boyd said. “To slow him down you have to keep the ball out of his hands. Maybe our offense can control the ball or maybe Mickey will just forget about him.”

That certainly hasn’t happened yet, nor should Boyd feel like Green is solely using Marlboro County to unleash his full potential. Just look at his 298 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns to open the playoffs against Dreher last week.

And even though that performance was one of the better ones of Green’s career, the fact that he’s had one as long as his has been is maybe even more impressive. Friday’s game will be Green’s 45th start. That is a figure reached by only a small handful of players during Wilson’s decade in charge.

The 5-foot-7, 175-pounder has staved off injuries and prevented another player from beating him out for a job. Or, should we say, jobs.

Over the span of his four-year career, Green has started games at outside linebacker, safety, receiver, running back and kickoff returner. Additionally, he’s played a few snaps at cornerback, taken a few direct ones out of the Seahawks’ rhino package in and around the goal line and returned punts.

It’s not just that he’s done all that; he’s done it well.

On offense, he’s rushed 130 times for 2,295 yards and 21 touchdowns and added 114 receptions for 1,022 yards and six touchdowns. On the other side of the ball, there are 215 career tackles (mostly from his freshman season), six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, three interceptions and a defensive touchdown on his resume.

So, what exactly is Green’s natural position?

“That’s a tough one. It really is,” Wilson said. “There have been times as a coaching staff where we feel he’s really a [weak-side] linebacker. There’s been times when we’ve said he’s really a receiver. There’s been times when we said he’s really a running back. That’s kind of been up for debate in the coaches’ meeting room.”

Said Green: “I’d probably tell them I’m a running back. But I would tell them that I could play any other position. I never feel out of place.”

Green wasn’t needed to carry the ball much his freshman season – Brandon Sinclair’s final year at Myrtle Beach. But with one one more really good game (or two average ones, by his standard), Green can finally do what Sinclair did -rush for 1,000 yards in a single season.

So far in 2018, Green is at 833 yards. If he reaches quadruple figures, it stands to reason that Myrtle Beach got past Marlboro County again and advanced to the third round. That game would be at home, too. A win there and the Seahawks would have a potential shot at a rematch against Hartsville in the lower state finals.

A lot of moving pieces would have to fall just right for that game to happen, but Green and his teammates would love the opportunity just the same. Hartsville embarrassed Myrtle Beach in the regular-season finale. Not surprisingly, that was one of Green’s worst showings.

“I would love to play them again,” he said. “We can beat them. There’s a lot we could improve on. There’s a lot of things we could do differently.”

First, Myrtle Beach has other business to attend to — Marlboro County.

History says Wilson will again find a solid plan to make the use of his most diverse offensive weapon. He’s taken advantage of Green’s skill set, much like he did with former multi-faceted standouts Trell Harrell and Kelton Greene before him.

Part of Green’s value, then, is the freedom he gives the staff.

“It’s matchups. It’s a feel thing. He’s a guy who can help us with some injuries, whether we have guys who are hurt or whatever,” Wilson said. “‘Let’s just plug Jermani in there.’ He’s kind of been our glue. Maybe need him to play safety this week, or maybe there’s a mismatch in the secondary, let’s get the ball out to him. He’s never, ever, ever said anything about that. He just plays that position, and plays it well.

“That’s the neat thing about him. He’s just so versatile.”

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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