Green and Brown, two of the nation's top three running backs, lived up to preseason expectations and rankings by combining for five of the game's seven touchdowns (Madison won 28-23) and both rushed for over 100 yards. Brown, a five-star prospect, is No. 7 in the ESPNU 150, while Green, a four-star recruit, is No. 14 in the ESPNU 150.
"Aaron and Malcolm did what they do," Steele coach Michael Jinks said. "We have been around them and watching them a long time. America got a pretty good game."
Green, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, got the scoring started with a 6-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. He followed that up with a 25-yard TD run in the second quarter, showing patience along with great vision and explosiveness, darting up the middle for the touchdown. Then, in the fourth quarter, with his team needing a big play, he ripped off a 68-yard touchdown run for the winning score. Again, Green, the No. 3 RB in the nation, was letting his blocks set up before he exploded down the Madison sideline. He finished with 170 yards.
"Aaron is great athlete and he showed it tonight," Brown said. "He makes big plays and runs hard."
But Brown runs hard too. He's a downhill runner and once he gains a little steam, it's like trying to tackle a speeding train. Madison kept him bottled up in his backfield a good portion of the game, not giving him much space to maneuver. But Brown got loose in the third quarter and rumbled 88 yards for a touchdown. On the play, he broke at least four tackles and once he got in the Madison secondary, it was over. It was exactly the kind of play that showed why he's a five-star prospect and the nation's No. 2 RB prospect. He has good speed, even better power and very good balance. He finished with 184 yards on 26 carries.
"I don't remember much about the play," Brown said. "I just got loose and kept running until I got into the end zone."
Runs like that impress everyone, especially other great backs.
"That's Malcolm for you," Green said. "That's what he does best."
Brown, 6-foot, 210 pounds, recently committed to Texas and is still coming to grips with the fact he'll really be a Longhorn.
"I am very comfortable there with the [Texas] coaching staff," Brown said. "I fit in with everyone there. It's just a blessing for them to even recruit me and I am glad they did."
Green, on the other hand, still has a decision to make. He says his four favorites are Texas, Nebraska, Cal and Florida State, but he's still wide open and wants to show the football world that he's a better back now than he was last year. Green is running with more power. On several of his runs, he was exploding into the defender and initiating contact rather than letting the hit come to him.
"I think I am changing my style. I am starting to run more downhill then I used to," Green said. "I am just trying to become an overall back. Usually I just step out of bounds and I am tired of people saying I can't run hard. I want to start delivering blows."
Jamie Newberg has been covering recruiting both in the Southeast and nationally for 19 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.