By PETE YOUNG and JAMAL THALJI
© St. Petersburg Times, published January 23, 2001
Robinson linebacker/running back Clark Green had a standout senior season, rushing for 1,182 yards (6.9 average) and 10 touchdowns in 172 carries and lifting himself into the recruiting cross hairs of several Division I schools.
Among his pursuers have been Indiana and Maryland, but Robinson coach Bud Hodgens said Green, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder who also plays basketball for the Knights, has narrowed it to Syracuse and South Florida.
"(Syracuse coaches) flew in Thursday and visited him, and they're trying to arrange a visit (for Green to Syracuse)," Hodgens said.
Whether Green, rated the No.12 area prospect by the Times, plays running back or linebacker in college is up in the air. Green played both full time for Robinson, and he was named to the Times All-Suncoast second team as a running back.
"He reminds me of (1998 Robinson graduate and Missouri running back Zain) Gilmore," Hodgens said. "Gilmore also was a good defensive back and could have played either."
Hodgens said Green let his grade point average slip and must pick it up to qualify.
"He was qualified, then he ran into some academic problems in the fall, so he has to raise his core course," Hodgens said. "Hopefully he will."
USF LURES BAIN: The Bulls got a commitment Monday from Pasco High wideout/safety Joe Bain. He also was considering Florida, Clemson, Iowa State, Auburn and Tennessee.
Playing time was one of the key factors for Pasco County's top recruit. Not only could he play right away for USF, but the 6-3 senior said the coaching staff told him he might be able to play both positions.
KNIGHT MOVES: Central Florida got two more oral commitments from area recruits last week.
Admiral Farragut center Adam Butcher and Northeast quarterback/defensive back Andrew Harris were the fourth and fifth area players to commit to the Golden Knights, joining Hillsborough's Keith Williams, Largo's Omar Laurence and Gibbs' Mike Lynche.
UCF assistant Alan Gooch, a 1978 Clearwater High graduate who has recruited the area for the Knights since the early 1990s, said it's a banner year for talent.
MOTHERLODE: Six Armwood players are expected to sign with Division I schools on Feb.7, and three likely will sign after that, Armwood coach Sean Callahan said.
Wide receiver Chris Murray (committed to Miami), linebacker Josh Chilsom (undecided), cornerback Antwan Allen (Iowa), defensive lineman Keith Watts (undecided), wide receiver Joe Stephens (Pitt) and defensive back/running back Carl Jones (Cincinnati) are expected to sign letters of intent two weeks from Wednesday.
Quarterback Ron Buskey and wide receiver Leonard Anderson have yet to qualify academically, but both are likely to end up at D-I schools. Also, defensive back Marvin Williams has qualified, but Callahan said he likely will sign with a D-I school after signing day Feb. 7.
MYSTERY SNUB: Tarpon Springs quarterback Achilleas Houllis started the past three years for the Spongers and put up some big numbers.
This season he completed 78 of 139 passes for 1,705 yards and 23 touchdowns with 6 interceptions, and he was named second-team All-Pinellas by the Times. Houllis' nearly 4-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio and whopping average of 12.3 yards per attempt are exceptional.
In the fall, Division I schools such as Iowa State were expressing interest in Houllis, but Tarpon Springs coach Don Davis said no D-I schools are interested now, and it has left him flabbergasted.
"I've sent out 300 letters and 50 videos. It's baffling to me," Davis said. "Who can explain what's going on with recruiting people?"
Davis said Houllis is fully qualified academically, further adding to the mystery. At 6-0 and 200 pounds, Houllis might be considered a shade short for a D-I quarterback, but even the I-AA schools' interest has been lukewarm.
"I don't know what to say. I can't figure it out," Davis said.
ETC.: Gibbs offensive lineman Dusty Keseleski (6-1, 280), a Times first-team All-Suncoast selection, has committed to Division I-AA Bethune-Cookman.