Lineman U: Former Atascocita star Kenyon Green set to add to growing O-Line tradition with NFL Draft
HOUSTON – Todd Moses remembers the exact moment he knew Kenyon Green would be special.
The Atascocita offensive line coach reached back into his memory and told the story as if it had happened last week. It was Green’s sophomore season for the Eagles in 2016. Atascocita was playing Katy and the offense was backed up on the goal line with Green at left tackle.
A highly-touted defensive end for Katy, stood across from Green looking to get into the end zone and nab at least a safety if not more. But then Green flashed his strength and a “little bit of nasty”.
“Kenyon just flat backed him into the endzone. Literally laid on top of him,” Moses said. “That was kind of that moment where I went, OK this guy is special.
“I kind of knew already, he’s one of the few freshmen we’ve ever had start here. He was the first freshman to make varsity on the offensive line. His feet and hips were so good, we knew coming out of the eighth grade at Atascocita Middle that he was special.”
Green was special.
And at the time he didn’t know it but would become a part of an offensive line lineage that could rival many programs in the State of Texas.
Prior to Green there was Amon Simon Jr. and Sam Cosmi, who went on to play at Texas A&M Commerce and the University of Texas. Cosmi was drafted in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft, while Simon could be a late-round pick in this year’s.
Then there was Green, who would finish everything he started.
Atascocita coach Craig Stump reflected back to his freshman or sophomore season when they were doing conditioning one day. Green was having a hard time and found himself standing over and leaning on a fence to catch his breath. His father Henry from the stands yelling “Get up” and coaches doing the same.
The young Green did just that and finished the workout.
“He got himself together and he did all the running. He never did not do it,” Stump said. “He couldn’t maybe do it all at once, but he ended up doing it. That tells you a lot. It wasn’t just somebody that was having a hard time and they would just hang out until everybody is done and then I’ll go in. He did whatever we were doing. He always finished the workout, which I thought said a lot about him.”
At Atascocita, Green helped guide the Eagles to the State Semifinals in 2016 and the Regional Semis in 2017 and 2018 and was an Under Armour All-American his senior year.
“Summer of his senior year and his senior year he was the leader of our offensive line,” Moses said.
On Thursday more history could be made as former @AHSEagleFB & @AggieFootball OL @K_Green_01 is projected to be taken in the first round 2022 NFL Draft. #txhsfbpic.twitter.com/XKAQEQclhm
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) April 26, 2022
Green went on to Texas A&M to have a great collegiate career and now, the next stop is the NFL come Thursday night.
“A lot of times we know somebody that does [get drafted] but to be that personal with it, with the family, mom, and dad it makes it really special,” Stump said.
On the way to Stump’s office inside Atascocita High, you turn the corner and pass the Wall of Fame. On it are three placards. The first is for Carsen Edwards, who was drafted by the Boston Celtics, then Patrick Taylor Jr who signed with the Green Bay Packers and played last season and then Cosmi.
Three placards with a spot for the fourth ready to go.
“Walking by for this whole spring, I’ve been like hurry up and get the draft here, I want to put Kenyon up there,” Stump said with a laugh. “It is cool. It is different for sure.”
“It’s a sense of pride. I know when I was growing up, I didn’t even know who guys were. At Port Arthur/Thomas Jefferson there were guys on the wall that went to Notre Dame and this and that and their black and white pictures. They know these guys. I think it is all part of it.”
A tradition must start with a first.
The offensive line tradition at Atascocita, according to Moses began with Simon. Then it was Cosmi, Green, Kendall Dearth and carried on to Kam Dewberry, who signed with Texas A&M in February and with the next in line being Class of 2024 prospect Nate Kibble.
“They want to do what they did,” Stump said. “That is a part of having a tradition.”
Moses added: “All of a sudden there are kids here dreaming of becoming NFL linemen and they kind of work a little harder in the weight room and in practice.”
The revolving door of collegiate offensive linemen that Atascocita has produced is an impressive one, but Moses says it is because the players buy in and “don’t mind being coached”.
As Moses gets ready to watch one of his former players get their named called again to the NFL, the thing that he most proud of Green for isn’t anything he ever did on the field for Atascocita.
“What I’m most proud of Kenyon for is the locker room and weight room stuff,” Moses said. “That he turned into that leader that we always thought he was going to be. That goes back to he has good parents.”
Green will become the second offensive lineman at Atascocita to be drafted under Moses’ watch. In his 33 years of coaching, three players stand out in his memory. One of those being Green, the other Cosmi and from his time at Westlake High School in Louisiana David LaFleur.
Dewberry was the next after Green and Kibble looks to be the next in the now growing lineage of offensive linemen stars to come from Atascocita. After that, who knows? But Moses is just having fun.
“Heck, who knows where the next guy is going to come from,” he said. “I enjoy doing it. I could have retired a year and a half ago … But dude, why would you want to retire when you get to coach these guys. It’s still fun.”