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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Greatness of Green

I'll have a story in tomorrow's paper about wide receiver A.J. Green. The kid has been nothing short of spectacular throughout camp and came up just two yards shy of making me look like a genius for predicting he'd score two touchdowns against Georgia Southern.

The most impressive thing about Green, however, is how unaffected he seems to be by his own ability. He's humble, he's quiet, and he's dying to learn as much as he can to get better.

Anyway, I got a lot of quotes for the story, and I was only able to use a few, so I figured this would be a good place for the outtakes. Here's what people are saying about AJ...

Richt on how well Green has developed so far:
"There's still a little indecision by any true freshman, so I think we're more comfortable when we have a veteran out there with him. He can function on his own, but to compare him to a veteran, there's a big gap right now. But he's getting there."

Coach Bryan McClendon on what Green adds to the offense:

"It makes the defense back up a little bit when you have a guy like that. Just getting him better on a lot of the underneath routes and what the defenses do. He may know a coverage now, but understanding in this route why he has to be in a certain place at a certain time, but that all comes with age and experience. But just having a guy out there like that, you know you can scare the heck out of a defense because he can sure fire take the top off of that thing."

McClendon on Green's work ethic:
"The big thing that helps him out is the level of effort he gives on every play. You don't see that from a lot of guys coming straight out of high school, especially when they're the big dog coming out. They can sort of chill in practice in high school, and you've got to snap them out of that when they get here, but he's not like that."

McClendon on why everyone is so eager to help Green out:

"Just seeing him, seeing how he carries himself. He's a confident kid, but so humble. Just a guy like that, blessed with all that ability, you don't see it come around too often. And that's why everyone -- EVERYONE -- is in his corner, 100 percent behind him, just because of the type of person he is."

McClendon on what Green needs to improve on:
"Just getting him better on the underneath routes, and just understanding what defenses are trying to do. He may know a coverage but understanding in this route why he needs to be in a certain place at a certain time, but that will all come with age and come with experience."

McClendon on Green's potential:
"I think the sky is the limit for him. A guy with all that ability, is quick, is fast, who can just stop on a dime, get up and jump vertical, and just do all the things he can do and then be as humble as he is, the sky is the limit for him."

Mohamed Massaquoi on how his freshman year compares to Green's:
"They parallel a lot. He's a got that's flooded with talent, but he's learning. I really feel his best football is way ahead of him the more he learns and the more he gets a chance to play."

Massaquoi on what Green's expectations for himself are:

"Real humble guy, team guy. He's a guy who just wants to win, just wants to go out and get better. It's really nothing from a numbers aspect, just going out there and playing the best he can week to week."

Tony Wilson on Green's quick development:

"I'm very impressed. It's a hard turnover to get from high school to college, to learn the system and the speed of the game. The way he's done it has been a wonderful job of learning the system, learning the signals, and I'm like a big brother to him so whenever they need a question, I'm there to help them because I know what it is to run around with your head chopped off, not knowing what to do."

Wilson on whether he's jealous of Green's natural ability:
"I'm not fortunate to be a tall receiver, so I've got to use whatever I've got. He's blessed to be 6-4, I wish I was at least 6-1, but God didn't make me that way. But (Green's) going to be a great player at this university."

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