Mykel Green is a stand-up guy.
That's what those who know him best stood up and said at his signing day party at Firehouse Subs.
The Knights defensive lineman missed out on the party that took place earlier in the library at Evans High School. Three of his Knights teammates signed there, among a throng of students, teachers, coaches and cameras.
There was cake, plenty of hugs and a newspaper reporter.
But Green was at Evans Elementary School, tutoring two elementary pupils as part of a commitment to the Spanish Honor Society.
The tutoring sessions last 30 minutes Mondays and Wednesdays.
Even on what was likely one of the more memorable days of his life, Green put another obligation ahead of his commitment to play football at Morehouse College, at least temporarily.
Some of the same crowd that saw Green's teammates sign in the library made the trip to Firehouse Subs, where Green has worked part time the past two years
Two platters of fresh sandwiches waited at one end of the restaurant while Green's mother, Nancy, surprised her son by asking those who knew him to offer their thoughts.
Ken Williams, Mykel's boss, went first.
"This is a special kid," Williams told the crowd, and then turned to Mykel. "You're a special kid."
The compliment held various meanings.
"Special," meaning a good employee. "Special," meaning someone not only willing to tutor after school on Mondays and Wednesdays, but also someone who has arrived at school early each Tuesday and Thursday for nearly 18 weeks to tutor a senior teammate in geometry.
"I wanted him to graduate with us," Mykel said.
Morehouse's honors program is part of what drew Green to the school; he has a 3.9 GPA.
It's not too hard to understand, then, his decision to postpone signing the deal that secured his college future.
He also probably got a sweet deal on the subs.
"No doubt in my mind, he's going to be the successful person everybody here has said he would be," said Evans football coach Marty Jackson, who wrapped up the tribute.
Jackson then told a story of when Green came to him during the 2007 season and asked him for the keys to the locker room, where the senior posted motivational sayings.
Evans later came through with a big win against Glenn Academy and finished with one of the best seasons in the school's history.
When the time came, Green sat at his seat, surrounded by family and friends, and did what his teammates had done a half-hour earlier: sign a letter of intent to play college football.
Photo by Stephen Fastenau
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