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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Postgame: Green and Houston hint at futures

The conventional wisdom holds that Georgia's A.J. Green and Justin Houston probably played their final games at Sanford Stadium in Saturday's win over Georgia Tech. While neither player confirmed or denied that afterwards, they’re not leaving without a fight from Georgia fans – in Green’s case – or head coach Mark Richt – in Houston’s.

Georgia fans chanted “one more year” at the end of the game, when Green came over to celebrate with the students. Richt smiled when asked about that.

“I’m all for that,” he said.

Green admitted he heard the chant. He reiterated that he would make a decision – “the best one for me and my family” – after the bowl game.

“This went by fast. Now I’m a junior, and I have an opportunity to leave, to do what I love the most,” Green said. “It just went by so fast. Standing on that thing by the student section, to hear them chanting and going crazy, it’s just a dream, man.”
Houston echoed his earlier statements about not wanting to talk about the decision.

If it was his final game at Sanford Stadium, it was a doozy: He returned a fumble for a touchdown, then sealed the game with his first interception as a college player.

“It was a great way to go out if it is my last one,” Houston said. “But I really don’t want to think about that right now. We just beat Tech, and that’s all I want to think about.”

Richt engaged in a bit of public lobbying for Houston to come back for his senior season and perhaps improve his draft position.

“I have no earthly idea what the future holds for him,” Richt said. “My hope is that he’s a Bulldog for another season, and improves his draft status to where he’s a top 10 pick. Because I think he’s got that capability. I don’t know if he’s there right now. But I think he’s one of those guys that can move himself into that kind of position. But it always comes down to everybody doing what’s best for these guys. And time will tell.”

Meanwhile, recruiting was heavy on Richt’s mind after the game. He said he hoped the atmosphere had an impact on the many high school players Georgia was hosting on Saturday night.

Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell, who was spotted wearing Georgia gear, was probably central in Richt’s mind.

Richt also said the coaches would hit the recruiting trail hard this week, which begins an open contact period, when coaches are also able to make unlimited phone calls to recruits. The Bulldogs are likely to take the week off of practice, and start their allotment of 15 practices after they know their destination and opponent.

“We’re gonna be recruiting the heck out of the guys that we’ve got,” Richt said. “We’re gonna recruit the ones that are already committed, recruit the ones that are hoping to commit, and we’ll also spend time on the 2012 and ’13 and ’14 class. We’ll still be out there beating the bushes looking at the young guys as we get along.”

11 comments:

Dawgfan17 said...

Dear Justin and AJ,
the NFL is defiantly having a lockout next season so you might as well go back to college.
Sincerely,
The Commish

Matt said...

Dear A.J. Green,

You owe us. Big time. You already did what was best for you in Jerseygate, with no regard for your team...can you at least give us one more, full year? If you wanted to point at anyone and say "That's the reason we're 6-6 and talking about firing the coach", it was your decision to sell your Jersey, when you knew it was wrong.

I understand why you did it...but I think you should also understand what you took from us, as fans, and what you took from your teammates and coaches. Maybe its time to do what's best for your team, just this once?


P.S. Don't think we didn't notice how you went out of bounds instead of turning upfield to get the 1st down this game. As soon as I saw that, I thought "yep, he's playing not to get hurt, he doesn't really care about this game". Thankfully, you turned it on after that.

Regardless of what decision you make, I do want to let you know just how amazing you've been as a player here at UGA. BEST...RECEIVER...AT UGA...EVER. EVER. Your game is awesome, and you don't act like a diva. Watching you play has been sublime, for 2.75 seasons. Good luck to you, whatever you choose, and thank you for being a bulldawg!

Anonymous said...

PS Matt,

The play you reference AJ go out of bounds, he had just made one of the best cuts I have ever seen at Sanford, and actually looks like he reached for his knee, then stayed out a play or two flexing it.

So maybe he felt a little something.

bnwdog said...

In reference to all the "Mark Richt to the U" talk going on. The man has clearly stated before he has no interest in taking his family to South Florida for a multitude of reasons!

Anonymous said...

The lockout could not only cause AJ and Houston to return but other teams players like Newton, Ingram and Mallet. Also NFL general managers say this will keep teams from spending on high profile coaches like Saban who was sending out feelers for Dallas job. People close to NFL put the odds on lockout at 99%. This should get interesting.

Anonymous said...

Glad Stafford was at the game. Georgia fans underrate how great he was. He was 21-5 last 2 years and without him it would have been far worse(Cox). Like hearing Crowell was in Red and Black. There's a reason every modern day empire wears Red and Black, (think Imperial Japan, the Nazis, the Catholic Church, Tiger Woods), they're power colors. And they look good. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

I loved seeing Samuel L Jackson in red and black. Who knew he was a dawg fan???

I wonder if that helped recruiting?

Anonymous said...

AJ made a mistake by selling his Jersey, but in the end, he needs to do what is best for him. I have no qualms if he decides to go early. He will be set for life with an NFL contract, and I don't know if it is worth the risk of injury to come back and try to move up a couple of spots on the draft list.

Anonymous said...

We have to play without them at some point.
Come to goergia Crowell. We need a good running back that won't get suspended for being a moron and can hang on to the ball. These two guys we have really let the team down this year.

GreenDawg said...

@Matt, I'm sorry but no student-athlete owes a fanbase anything other than maximum effort while they attend the University, and no one can argue that AJ hasn't done that. I agree, he made a mistake with the jersey, but he's still just a kid. And I think someone mentioned this earlier, but I did see some trainers tending to Green after that first play when he ran out of bounds.

Also, Seth the student section was chanting "one more year" at Justin Houston after he made that interception. I don't know about the fanbase in general, but among the students Houston is a kind of cult hero. He's taken Rennie Curran's place in that role this year, and we all love him. Please let him know we didn't leave him out in all the chanting!

Anonymous said...

@ Matt,

You're kidding right? AJ doesn't anyone anything. That being said...let's all cross our fingers for a lockout.