It was well documented last season that Nixa running back Ramone Green played beyond his years as a freshman phenom.
Fast forward a year and Green is establishing himself as a super soph during the Eagles’ summer camp workouts. He’s so shifty than even when Nixa defenders are instructed just to get a hand on him, they have trouble doing so.
Perhaps more telling is Green’s maturity as a teammate.
In between carries and without any prompting whatsoever, Green made his way to Nixa’s offensive lineman and offered them a pat on the helmet or a high-five and words of encouragement.
“He’s not a dummy,” coach John Perry said. “He knows where his bread is buttered. He’s going to take care of those guys.”
Indeed, Greed is well aware that as goes his offensive linemen teammates, so goes him.
“I’ve got to make sure they are motivated,” Green said. “If they’re not, I’m probably not going to have many holes to run through. I love those guys, they’re always working super hard.”
Nixa’s running game was productive during wins last season, even great in one area in particular. Alex Wentz topped the team with 638 yards rushing and Green had 587. Wentz, Green and Riley Childs combined for 267 carries and did not lose a single fumble. Altogether, the Eagles rushed 358 times for 1,481 yards, or an average of 4.1 yards a run.
Green averaged 5.3 yards a carry, while rushing 100 times for 587 yards and three touchdowns. In addition, he caught eight passes for 77 yards.
Ask him how he feels this time around compared to a year ago and he’s hardly resting on all the laurels he received as a freshman. The theme of his summer is all about hard work.
“It’s the same as last year, I’m always working to be the best me I can be,” Green said. “Playing football again is awesome. Getting reps in and everybody working hard, it’s great. I’ve gotten stronger and faster and have worked on my footwork.”
“He’s a great young man and obviously talented,” Perry added. “On top of that he works hard, he gets after it. I’m glad he plays for us.”
During Perry’s 18 years as a head coach in Mississippi, he repeatedly could call upon a premier running back. Tylan Knight, now at Ole Miss, averaged 18.1 yards a carry while helping Pearl to a state championship and a 16-0 record in 2017. Perry left behind at Pearl senior Kenyatta Harrell, who is being recruited by both Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
Perry proclaimed Harrell the best running back in the state after he had a 289-yard rushing night as a sophomore.
Perry said Green compares well to the running backs he coached at Pearl.
“We had some of the best running backs to come through (Mississippi),” Perry said. “As a sophomore, (Green) is as good as those dudes were then, no doubt about it. He’s just got to keep striving to get bigger and faster. Those guys were probably bigger. Sometimes, college coaches are looking for size. If you’re not big, you’ve got to get faster.”