East Ridge senior center J.C. Hassenauer stands 6-3, weighs 300 pounds and this fall is expected to sign a letter of intent to play for two-time defending national champion Alabama. Senior running back Nick Leach has rushed for 434 yards and six touchdowns in two games for the Raptors.

Both are leaders for the Raptors, yet both willingly admit that they defer to a sophomore: quarterback Seth Green.

“And he’s a young sophomore, too,” Hassenauer said. “He just turned 15 and he’s out here playing with 18-year-olds.”

Clearly, Green is no ordinary sophomore. He has a quarterback’s frame at 6-2 and 192 pounds. He started every game as a freshman, passing for 1,418 yards and 12 TDs. College coaches have noticed. Green already has offers from Minnesota and Louisville.

So far, Green hasn’t been asked to do much — in two games, he has completed 15 of 22 passes for 257 yards and a TD — because the Raptors offensive line has been dominant, allowing Leach to shine. But Green has shown flashes of brilliance. In Friday’s victory over Roseville, Green kept a drive alive on a third-and-16 play by scrambling to his left and finding receiver Xavier Cole open for a 19-yard gain.

Green’s coach, Mike Pendino, had high praise for him. Said Pendino, who coached Larry Fitzgerald Jr. at Holy Angels: “He’s as good an athlete as I’ve coached. And he’s a great kid, too.”

Jim Paulsen