Isaiah Green rolled, rolled and rolled out some more, keeping his eyes locked downfield while defenders chased him.
Then, came the quintessential moment.
Mere seconds before Marshall University’s sophomore quarterback would have been forced out of bounds, Green calmly lobbed a pass towards the stands.
That wouldn’t have occurred a year ago.
But it’s happening now.
“We got in trouble last year when he got out of the pocket,” said Tim Cramsey, Marshall’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. “Seven of his 10 interceptions happened on scrambling situations where he’s trying to make plays and stick the ball in there.
“We’ve already seen eight, nine times in this camp where he’s out there and he’s throwing the ball to who is open or he’s throwing the ball out of bounds. To me, that’s a huge step in a young quarterback’s progress.”
Indeed, it is.
The best part is Green also realizes it.
“Scrambling around is a big part of my game,” said the 6-foot-2, 207-pound redshirt sophomore. “So, getting the experience of learning when to try to fit the ball in or when to just throw it out of bounds on third down and punt. ... that played a huge role in seeing my mistakes from last year and trying to correct them.”
Green even sounds older now.
“Across the board he’s a 180 [degrees],” said Cramsey. “I’m a big believer in a quarterback is probably going to become better on the field when he’s better off the field. He’s a different human being than he was last year. He’s a year older. It’s like they say, ‘The best thing about freshmen is they become sophomores.
“He had a great year last year, but just seeing him as a mature person and a leader he’s a 180 and it’s showing on the field right now. He’s playing very heady football.”
Now, Green is more content with taking what is there, instead of trying to force a big play. There’s a word for that — maturity.
“That’s it, 100 percent,” said Cramsey. “Quarterbacks are going to become better players when they’re better people off the field and they’re doing things right off the field and their mind is right off the field and they understand how to watch film and they understand how to manage their time and go to class and study the playbook and all that type of stuff. That’s where he is right now.”
That’s because Green’s confidence has grown exponentially with his experience.
“Basically, I feel like I have the same confidence, but experienced confidence is better,” he said. “Last year was blind confidence. I knew what I could do, but nobody else knew. Last year, I knew what I could do and what I brought to the table. But, now, I’ve got that experience to go along with it so now I know what to expect.
“Experience plays a big role. I feel like I’m a lot better mentally more than physically.”
Not that Green is a finished product.
“Me and him have miles to go until we’re where we need to be,” said Cramsey. “But Tom Brady has been playing for 20 years and he still has miles to go, too. You’re never going to be there as a quarterback. But where he was at this point last year to where he is right now is a whole different level.”
Green is rollin’ on.