Posted by Adam Jacobi
Penn State's backfield appears to be one back lighter as it heads into the 2011 season. Stephfon Green, the speedy senior tailback from New York, is not practicing with the Nittany Lions, and according to the Penn State RapidReports, his career with the program may be over.
RB Stephfon Green is no longer on the team and is unlikely to return. “Stephfon’s had some problems with me, and I think right now it’s for the benefit of everybody that he backs away right now,” [Joe Paterno] said.
If this is the case and Green is done, this is a bit of a blow for the Nittany Lions. Green's never been as productive as he was in 2008 (579 yards, 105 carries, four touchdowns), and the combination of injuries and the continued presence of now-departed Evan Royster helped keep Green's stats low the next two seasons. Green was also behind true sophomore Silas Redd in Penn State's depth chart this season.
Still, even as a top backup, Green would have provided a great deal of value to the team; he's one of the fastest running backs in college football, and a game plan with Green seeing 20-30% of the carries would have given Penn State the kind of versatility that it wouldn't see otherwise. That may not be sufficient for Green, especially if Paterno's readily admitting that the two have "had some problems," but there's no way to be sure that playing time is at the root of whatever disputes are taking place until someone elaborates further.
In the meantime, then, let's admire Green at his best, circa Michigan-PSU '08, incinerating would-be tacklers and displaying his all-too-underutilized ability to score from anywhere on the field:
Hard to imagine a kid who can move like that would only score eight touchdowns in three years, isn't it?