SDSU turns to Texas “mauler” Nicholas Green to bolster the offensive line

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Tennessee State transfer OT Nicholas Green has worked most of his life for the opportunity that’s in front of him. A multi-sport athlete who moved to Austin, Texas, when he was ten, Green has always understood that competition off the field is as important as what takes place inside the white lines.

Named after his father, Green grew up watching Texas athletes work out in his dad’s gym, The Heat Fitness. The clients who came through are a who’s who list of South Texas prep and college legends. Green saw firsthand how Dalton Sturm (Cowboys), Jordan Whittington (Rams), Bralen Taylor (Baylor), Bailey Zappe (Patriots), Eric Mann (Air Force), Amanda Caldwell (Arkansas softball), and Jonathan Ortega (Red Sox Organization) worked to be at their best when no one was watching.

Emulating their efforts, Green starred for perennial Texas powerhouse Cedar High School. A late switch to the offensive line as a junior in high school left him without any offers after his senior year. In the Lone Star State, football dreams never die.

Green continued to grind, moving to Trinity Valley Community College outside of Dallas. A two-year starter there earned him five scholarship offers. He accepted the one from Tennessee State.

With the Tigers, he bounced around the line, starting Week 1 against Notre Dame at left tackle before seeing time at guard and right tackle. He competed in only four games in 2023, starting two. To preserve his eligibility and allow him to heal from a minor shoulder injury, TSU decided to redshirt him.

In December, TSU head coach Eddie George fired Anthony Lewis, the offensive line coach who brought Green to Nashville. After more than two months of searching, George eventually replaced Lewis with Dylan Chmura. Green kept focused on his craft and held down the starting spot at left tackle through Spring Camp. The fit, though, was not right, and Green elected to utilize the second transfer portal window.

Within a few days, over 25 schools offered him. As his list of suitors continued to grow, SDSU jumped into the fray. Mike Schmidt reached out. The Aztecs’ consistent interest wooed Green to take an official visit this past weekend. America’s Finest City did the rest.

“Getting around the different spots of San Diego,” Green explained the highlights of his official visit to EVT. “Showing me different areas of the city, from eating at restaurants in the Gaslamp to having breakfast on Pacific Beach. Put my family in the Manchester Grand Hyatt. It was overall a great weekend.”

Green committed to the Aztecs on Sunday.


Green had two “must-haves” at his next school. Given his background at his dad’s gym, he was looking for an elite strength and conditioning program. Knowing what that looks like up close, Green is excited to train under SDSU’s Head of Football Performance, Jeff Sobol.

Before arriving on The Mesa and in preparation to play Aztec Fast, his father will be working with him as he had with all the other world-class athletes who have come through The Heat Fitness. Using medium weights, they do “12 rounds of boxing,” a grueling workout more than twice as long as a typical offensive drive. On the field, Green works on his blocks beginning at the five-yard line and simulates game action by moving five yards at a time across the field and into the opposite end zone.

The talented offensive lineman also wanted a school where he could be developed more as a player. Under Schmidt’s tutelage, Green sees his game growing in San Diego. He praised SDSU’s line coach as someone who can develop him quickly with an eye to playing professionally. Green also hit it off with head coach Sean Lewis.

“He was a great person and overall a family man,” Green said. “I can say that he answered my questions and then some, so I was grateful for that. Overall, he kept it real with me. He didn’t do any sugar-coating, didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear which is what I really respected about him. As he was talking, he did a great job explaining the kind of offensive mind that he had and his knowledge for football. … he is approachable and easy to have conversations with.”

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Fit with the Aztecs

SDSU brought Green in to compete for a starting job at left tackle. Christian Jones started last year at the position and has worked there all spring. Reviews of his performance have been mixed. With the sudden departure of Kyle Stanback, there wasn’t anyone on the roster able to push Jones for time. On Monday, the Aztecs added a second tackle in Arizona transfer Joe Borjon.

“I’ll describe (my game) as technical,” Green told EVT. “I’ll probably use my technique first before anything. Then secondly, I would describe it as fluid and agile. I’m able to mimic edge rushers on the end and on the island. I’m able to be aggressive on my aiming points in the run game. Just the aggression in the run game and how swiftly and how agile I can be on the island is what makes me good.”

What the Aztecs are looking for is an all-around player who can excel in several ways. The more their linemen can do, the more freedom Lewis has to design his offense. Green’s experience at every position (he played center in high school) allows him to be utilized in multiple ways.

Green said Lewis’ philosophy is for men upfront to be balanced in their approach. Like every lineman, Green relishes the opportunity to explode off the ball and punish defenders in the run game.  He also emphasized that he is just as passionate, making sure his pass protection is smooth and consistent.

“I’m definitely a mauler first,” Green said.

Spoken like a true Texan.

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