Off the field, Stevie Green is quiet. He’s a serious looking guy with glasses. You could call him mild-mannered.
But put that blue and white helmet over his broad shoulders, and a different man emerges.
“He don’t say much,” Fayetteville State coach Richard Hayes, Jr. told the FSU Voice last fall. “But he takes his glasses off, and I think he turns into Superman.”
Many CIAA defenders would likely agree with that. He certainly appeared to have a cape under his Russell-issued no. 28 last week against Elizabeth City State. Green rushed for 250 yards and four touchdowns en route to being named the Down East Classic MVP despite the fact his team left Rocky Mount with a loss.
Big Guy From A Small Town
Green comes from a small town, but he’s anything but tiny. The Washington, NC native goes 6’1, 190 pounds. He started at Elizabeth City State under former head coach Waverly Tillar in 2014, but left the school after deciding it wasn’t the right fit.
It would be two years before he saw the field again as he sat out the 2015 season after transferring to Fayetteville State. During that time he picked up a job as a basketball referee, among other things. He finally got the chance to play and went on to become the key player in Hayes’ first team, winning CIAA Rookie of The Year Honors.
He entered the season fifth on our list of the CIAA’s top five running backs and if we were doing it today, he’d be closer to the top for sure.
Though Hayes is just in his second year as a head coach, he’s been around the game of football and HBCU sports for a while. His uncle is Bill Hayes, the legendary former coach who helped build Winston-Salem State’s football program, revive North Carolina A&T’s program and get North Carolina Central on the road to Division I football.
Hayes, who is very close to his uncle, grew up watching his WSSU powerhouse teams in the 80s, played on championship teams in the 90s and then helped coach under his uncle after his playing days were through.
A confident Hayes told HBCU Gameday at CIAA Media Day that Green reminded him of legendary A&T running back Maurice Hicks. That’s pretty high praise as Hicks was a monster in the MEAC and then went on to have a sustained career in the NFL.
“Stevie has that potential,” Hayes said. “I want Stevie to start putting a little more work in. He’s going off natural ability right now. He’s starting to understand now if he puts a little more time in the weight room, he has great things ahead of him.”
If, indeed, Green has another gear in him, the rest of the CIAA better start searching for more-effective Kryptonite.