Carlson: How future OSU football players Blaine and Bryson Green became Cowboys' Signing Day gems
Bryson Green drops onto his knees and balances himself on the big blue exercise ball.
Wearing special glasses that block peripheral vision, he turns and looks toward his twin brother. Blaine Green throws a football to him. Bryson snatches one, then another before Blaine changes to a yellow football that is weighted.
Eventually, they switch spots.
The quiet of their parents’ backyard is punctuated only by the sound of pigskin hitting hands and the family dog panting as it runs this way and that.
Welcome to game day, Green family style.
“I don’t think people realize how much work they put in,” their mom, Teresa, said of the backyard scene that plays out every Friday. “They’ve always worked on it.”
The results are obvious.
The Green twins are the current headliners at Allen High School, the Texas powerhouse that has won five state titles in the last dozen years and produced scads of NFL players including Kyler Murray. Blaine and Bryson are two of the best prep wide receivers not only in Texas but also in the country.
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Wednesday, they will sign national letters of intent with Oklahoma State. This Cowboy class has no better offensive players than the Green twins.
They know they are here because they were gifted by God — not everyone is born to a dad who played college football and a mom who loves all kinds of sports, then grows to be 6-foot-2, 210 pounds — but they also realize what they do with those gifts is up to them. Do they depend only on them? Or do develop them?
“There was nobody in the program,” Allen receivers coach Justin Dozier said, “that outworked them.”
Blaine and Bryson Green were born and raised in Minnesota.
Their dad, Bryan, played college ball there — he was a running back for the Gophers in the early 1990s — and after he and Teresa married, they settled in the Twin Cities area. She was from Minnesota, and because he was in the medical services corps of the United States Army National Guard, they wanted her to be around a support system when he was deployed.
Bryan and Teresa Green also loved the opportunities for their sons there. Starting with the oldest, Seth, then adding the twins, they played just about every sport available. Football. Basketball. Lacrosse. Baseball.
The only one that they didn’t get into was ice hockey.
“It’s cold enough outside,” said Bryan, who is originally from Alabama, “I’m not trying to do a sport where it’s cold on the inside.”
The summer before Blaine and Bryson started seventh grade, Bryan’s work relocated him to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and the family settled in the Allen district.
“We went from a state that liked the sport that they play … to a state that loved their primary sport,” their dad said.
As their sons had got older, Bryan and Teresa gave all of them the option of working with a trainer. Seth, who played quarterback then but is now a receiver at Minnesota, started working with Kevin Murray, Kyler’s dad. Blaine and Bryson began training with Travis Wilson.
Wilson, who played for OU from 2002-05, felt an immediate connection to the Green twins, even though they were still in middle school.
“Those two boys, I’d put them up there with anyone as far as wanting to get better,” Wilson said. “I never felt like I was there because their parents paid me to train them.
“They had a mission.”
That dedication was cemented when the Greens asked what the training plan was during the season. Wilson told them he didn't train players during the season because he didn’t want to risk injury or burnout.
The Greens insisted — there had to be something they could do.
For the past six years, Wilson been meeting with Blaine and Bryson on Sundays to watch game film, then do some light stretching for recovery and some ball drills to keep them sharp.
“At the end of the day,” Wilson said, “I just wanted them to fulfill their dreams.’
Even if it meant the Sooner was developing future Cowboys.
Blaine and Bryson Green have always played football on the same team, even if they weren’t always on the field together.
Their sophomore year at Allen, they split the duties because the Eagles had a big-time senior receiver, Theo Wease. Blaine and Bryson went every other series. Made every other start.
But once Wease left for OU, the Greens took over the receiver spots.
They’ve been trying to one-up the other ever since.
“If I see him get a catch,” Blaine said, “man, I’m wanting to get a catch. Blocking. Energy. I’m just trying to match whatever level he’s at right then or he’s trying to match what I’m at.”
Bryson said, "We're super intense at anything we do. Blocking ... during the game, we try to see who can get the most pancakes. Me and him just try to have fun whenever we're on the field and make it a competition."
Even though the twins try to distinguish themselves, Dozier, the Allen receivers coach, admits he thinks of them as essentially the same person. Because he’s coached them for years, he knows the small and subtle differences, but at the core, they are identical in all the important things.
“Really,” Dozier said, “the only difference is their hairstyle.”
Right now, Bryson is wearing his hair long on the top, tight on the bottom while Blaine has braids, and for some of the coaches at Allen, that’s crucial information. They struggle to tell the difference between the twins otherwise.
“Every once in a while, they’ll change up their hairstyle,” Dozier said, “and the coaches are like, ‘Man, I just got that down.’”
Blaine and Bryson Green may not stand apart from each other in many ways, but they stand out in every way. They plan to enroll early at OSU with some college credits already on their transcripts, Bryson leaning toward an engineering major while Blaine is considering engineering, aerospace or veterinary medicine.
But of course, before that happens, there’s the matter of Signing Day. The Greens will have a ceremony at their church, One Community Church in Frisco.
“God is good,” their dad said. “To me, it’s just a blessing to see them blessed.”
Blaine and Bryson Green believe they have been blessed, and they are committed to maximizing those blessings. That’s why they’ll be back at practice Wednesday getting ready for a playoff game. Why they’ll be seeing Wilson over the weekend to go over film. Why they’ll be in the backyard Friday doing their game-day routine with the funky glasses and the weighted football.
Signing Day isn’t the end.
The Greens are just getting started.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at 405-475-4125 or email@example.com. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok, and support her work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.