Next Generation: All-star game aspirations led Daquon Green on path bound for Florida

TAMPA, Fla. — Not even a day of celebration can wipe away the stoic look from Daquon Green ‘s face.

Green is not one to talk or show his emotions. This moment, however, is an exception.

With his family, friends and coaches packed into the library at Tampa Bay Tech High School, Green is officially selected to the 2017 Under Armour All-America Game by American Family Insurance.

“Daquon Green, congratulations on achieving your dream,” the speaker says as he hands the 4-star wide receiver his jersey.

As Green puts it on and takes the podium, he can’t resist smiling and his serious demeanor disappears.

“I’m happy,” Green says. “This really was all a dream.” At the time of the game, Daquon Green was the only Florida commit with All-American honors. (Photo by On 3 and courtesy of the Under Armour All-America Game) Realizing his dream

Green enrolled at Florida last month and is one of the highest-rated offensive players in the Gators’ 2017 class. Unlike many recruits, football was not always the goal for Green.

In fact, he’s lucky he can even play sports.

At 2 years old, a car backed into Green outside of his aunt’s driveway and he had to be rushed to the hospital. He suffered a back injury and lost his ability to walk for several months.

“He had to start back crawling,” says his mother, Sheri Cromartie. “He could not do anything but sit on the floor. Before the incident, this boy was running everywhere. He had to teach himself how to walk again. It was scary, but it made him tough.”

Even tough enough for football, but not America’s version of the sport. Green’s first love was actually soccer, and he played for five years.

“He was a goalie,” says Green’s father, Amanzo Evans. “I guess he always had hands.”

Green didn’t get exposed to football until later in his childhood and wasn’t an active kid to begin with. His injury as a toddler made him a bit of a homebody.“I wasn’t the type to come out of the house like that,” Green says. “I’d be inside playing video games with my older brother or riding around on the bike. That and soccer.”Football wasn’t even the second option for Green. His father went to sign him up for baseball at age 11, but the deadline had passed. Green joined a youth football league instead.“I just did it because it was something to do,” Green says. “I tried out and made the team. As they say, the rest is history.”His little league team received tickets every year to the Under Armour All-America Game, which used to be held at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Green’s football ambitions bloomed there.One of his coaches was the older brother of Alvin Bailey, a star player in the Tampa area who won a 2011 state championship at Armwood High School (which was later stripped) and played wide receiver for the Gators from 2013-15.As an eighth grader, Green had a front-row seat when Bailey played in the 2013 […]