Omaha Central coach Joe McMenamin needed a punter.
So after a practice in 1994, he had more than 100 kids punt to see who had the best leg. One player stood out.
"The ball just exploded off his foot," McMenamin recalled.
The kid with the rocket leg was Ahman Green, the do-everything running back/linebacker/punter who starred at Central and Nebraska, then spent eight seasons in the NFL, most notably as a four-time Pro Bowler with the Green Bay Packers. Green is the storied franchise's all-time leading rusher with 8,322 yards.
Green ran for more than 1,000 yards three consecutive years in high school, including his sophomore year at Omaha North. He started at linebacker and averaged 40 yards per punt. He capped his senior year by winning gold in the 100, 200 and 400 relay at the state track meet. He also lettered in baseball during his freshman year at North.
Greens all-around athletic ability mirrors that of his childhood idol, Walter Payton. In high school, Green trained like Payton, running hills behind Omaha North or stairs at UNO during the summers.
"I'd be so tired, that's what kept me out of trouble," Green said.
That paid off for Green, who along with Gale Sayers, is one of the top running backs to come out of Nebraska. He is No. 2 all time on the Nebraska rushing charts with 3,880 yards and helped lead NU to the national championship in 1995 and 1997.
Green wrapped up his NFL career with the 2009 season, but did not officially retire until 2011. In 2010, Green was a starring attraction for the first season of the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League.
"This has been a good experience for myself, for the city of Omaha and for my teammates," Green said. "For a first-year team, I think we've done pretty darn good."
Green became a co-owner of the Green Bay Blizzard, an indoor football team, in 2012.
Played for: Omaha North High, Omaha Central High, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans and Omaha Nighthawks
Best athlete from Nebraska played with or against: Ronnie Doss of Omaha Benson. "He ran me down on the football field, and ran me down on the track."
Best moment as an athlete: His senior year of track, finishing out a triple gold in the 100, 200 and 400 relay
At Nebraska: 574 rushes for 3,880 yards and 42 TDs. 35 receptions for 300 yards and three TDs
NFL: 2,056 rushes for 9,205 yards and 60 TDs. 378 receptions for 2,883 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Green was No. 8 in the inaugural Nebraska 100 list in 2005. See more about the 2005 list »