Q&A with Southern commit Brandon Green

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Kenwood Academy’s senior backstop Brandon Green is gearing up for the final season of his prep career before setting off for Baton Rouge, La., to attend Southern University. He’s long been one of the Chicagoland area’s top defensive prospects, even going back to to his freshman year for the Broncos where he saw action on the varsity squad.

He’s always had a compact, strong, and athletic frame, which has allowed him to excel as blocker, with quick and fluid footwork. On offense, he has feel for the barrel and works the middle of the field. Green is currently ranked No. 74 in the Illinois 2019 class.

Green’s progression over the course of his high school career has earned him a Division-I opportunity at Southern. We had the opportunity to hear from Green on his insight into the recruiting process, his expectations going in, and how he came to choose the program he felt was the perfect fit for his academic and athletic aspirations.


Brandon Green C / Kenwood, IL / 2019

6.12.18 - 5-foot-7, 165-pound, right-handed hitting catcher, athletic build, present lower half strength. Offensively, balanced, relaxed setup, smooth back load, short stride, rhythm and balance maintained. Loose hands, fluid, level bat path, controls barrel in the zone, sprayed line drives to the middle of the field, easy effort. Present bat speed, exit velocity topped 85 mph from a tee. Defensively, pop times ranged from 2.11-2.20. Quick, fluid footwork, stays under control, rhythmic hands translates to clean exchange and transfer. Agile blocker, quick recovery, short, easy arm action, over the top slot, accurate throws carried 77 mph from the crouch. 7.67 runner in the 60.

Brandon Green (6.12.18)


PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easier or more difficult than you anticipated?

Green: As I approached the recruiting process, I was quite confident as I had been preparing for this moment since age 8. I had taken care of business on and off the field with my academics and my game. As a scholar athlete, I thought I was comfortable with all the dos and don’ts of the recruiting process. I expected college coaches to come see me play and then arrange some face-to-face meetings with my family and I. However, this was not how this process went at all. In fact there were very little face-to-face meetings with coaches and lots of phone calls, emails, letters, and text messages. I communicated with lots of colleges during the recruiting process, some I never even knew they had been to games to see me play. The old saying is true: “You never know who is watching.”

The recruiting process overall was very challenging, as I was the first one in my family to ever be recruited. There are so many variables to consider when you are being recruited both for coaches who are looking for the best fit for his team and for me looking for the best fit to continuing my baseball career as well as earn my college degree.

P: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at?

G: I was looking for a reputable program to continue my baseball career. I wanted a place where I would thrive in the class and on the field. I’ve had friends recruited, given scholarships, and then red-shirted or receive very little playing time. I was looking for a coach who was genuine to both me and the game. I wanted to be on a team that the mission is to compete every game.

P: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

G: The location or distance from home played no part in my decision. I have always been a lover of science and Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College have a great science/engineering program along with a reputable head baseball coach and program.

P: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel accelerated the buzz around you?

G: The recruiting process really heated up for me after I had a good really good weekend in Atlanta at the MVP summer baseball tournament. I recall my coaches telling me that many schools had inquired about me and would be in touch so be sure to respond. Many coaches, called and texted, some even sent letters after that tournament.

The Double Duty Classic held in July was where I first met Coach Jackson, Southern’s head baseball coach, in person. His personalization and compassion during our meeting after the game moved Southern to the top of my list.

P: Where did Southern first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

G: Southern University first saw me I believe at a camp-styled showcase. I had no idea that I was even on their radar. After flying around to see me play, they finally reached out. Over a period of time I began to communicate with recruiting director and pitching coach Stephanos Stroop and that's how our relationship developed. Chatting it up with him and former ACE alumni shortstop Jerry Houston, who is now a  coach down at Southern. These interactions really helped me grow closer to the college. The head coach Kerrick Jackson eventually got involved in the conversation and I begin to communicate with him more regularly.

P: What do you like most about Southern and what were the key factors in making your decision?

G: The thing I liked the most about Southern was the family-like, home-away-from-home feel. This feeling is a comfort zone for me being an only child. It reminded me of my high school  Kenwood Academy in Chicago, which also has this home-like environment. Another very key factor for my parents and I were the philosophies of the head coach who was in Chicago to see me play. He said, “ I want you with us at Southern to win, but I also want to teach you to win at life.”

I think that sealed the deal for my parents and I, but we still had to visit and tie up some loose ends with other schools.

P: Who is the best player you have faced in your state?

G: The best player I’ve ever faced in my state so far was Ryan Kutt who graduated  from Brother Rice a couple of years ago. Kutt had a wipeout slider with an electric fastball. Angel Acevedo was another player who was pretty high on my list. I faced him during the Double Duty Classic game at Guaranteed Rate field this summer.

P: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college-caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

G: At a young age, I always was confident in my ability. Transitioning from the eighth grade straight to varsity baseball confirmed my aspirations of college baseball becoming a reality to me. I’ve been in circles where ex-major leaguers and close mentors shared their opinions of my potential. This was was very empowering and I continued to work on and off the field. I’ve always been serious about baseball but my freshman and sophomore years as a varsity player in high school really was eye-opening for me. My team was one game away from going all the way both times. Things really changed for me as I began to be recruited for different opportunities to further my baseball training and skills.

P: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

G: The advice I would give to young baseball players striving to get where I am is to keep working in the classroom and on the field. Play your game and play it hard and you will be able to seperate yourself. Do not compare yourself to others. Make it a goal to be better than you were the day before. Do your research on the baseball programs, coaches, and colleges that show interest in you. Be patient and don’t allow yourself to be pressured into situations that will have an impact on your game and your life.

P: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

G: My most memorable moment in my baseball career so far is being the first all African-American team to win the United States Little League World Series Championship, back in 2014. Being invited to the breakthrough series in California is a very close second.

P: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel Kenwood will be?

G: The goal of my final high school year is to get the ring we have narrowly missed a couple of years in a row. This is a young team with only two seniors, we have lots of weapons so keep your eye on us. We will be the team to beat.