LOUISVILLE - The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the most prestigious football all-star game in the country, and on Monday afternoon Justin Green of Louisville, Kentucky was honored as the latest invitee in front of his friends and family.
While Green knew he was going to be a U.S. Army All-American, he didn't know until Monday morning that the official announcement would be made at an assembly later in the day.
With his family looking on, Green was presented with his jersey and honored as an All-American.
"I don't think that there is any way to express the feeling that I have right now," Green said. "To achieve something like this, I have never really thought about that. I would just like to thank the U.S. Army for letting me be able to be a part of something like this."
For Green this is the most unlikely of honors. As a freshman, Green was seriously injured, and at the time he didn't know if he would ever be able to step on a football field again. That kind of adversity has just made things more special for him.
"It feels great coming from freshman year when I didn't know if I was ever going to be able to play again," said Green about his long road to the game. "Basically I thought my football career was over, but now to achieve something like this, it is great."
Green says that he has watched the game on television in the past, but just never expected that one day he would be on that field with all of those great players. "I've always seen the games on TV and wondered if one day I could be a part of something like it, but it hasn't always been something on my mind. I am just happy to have the award."
While playing in the game is obviously very exciting and something Green is looking forward to, it is the week leading up that excites him the most. "I'm looking forward to the game, but more so I am looking forward to being around the other All-Americans, and just seeing the atmosphere of the Army All-American Game."
When Green does get down there and meets the fellow All-Americans, he will have the privilege of spending time with several other players committed to Ohio State that have already been named to the game.
"It is going to be great because we are going to get used to each other, and we are going to have a little fun together and spend time together," said Green about meeting the future Buckeyes. "I just think it will be a great experience."
Even though on the high school level Green is best known for his electrifying runs with the ball in his hands, it is the defensive side of the ball where he projects in college, and that is exactly where he will play in San Antonio.
"I have spoken to some coaches and they are looking at me more towards the defensive side of the ball, so I think I will do pretty good on defense," Green explained.
Capping off a great day for Green was the fact that his parents and his brother Marcus, a former NFL player, were all able to be on hand for the ceremony. "It feels great, they have been with me since I was born and they have helped me a lot along the way."