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Sunday, January 9, 2011

A.J. Green makes it official

What was long expected is now done: A.J. Green has declared for the NFL draft, passing on his senior year at Georgia.

The news came in a release by UGA a little after 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

"While it was a difficult decision, it came down to the opportunity of pursuing a dream I've had since early childhood," Green said in a statement released by the school. "But Georgia is a great place and I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to be a Georgia Bulldog. I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and the fans who have supported me and helped me grow not only as a player but as a man."

Green currently ranks as the top receiver on a lot of draft boards, and there's an outside chance he could go first overall to Carolina.

The Summerville, S.C., native said last week that he would tell Georgia head coach Mark Richt his decision before letting the news break, and he was true to his word.

"A.J. has made an immeasurable impact on our team over the past three seasons and we wish him nothing but the best," Richt said in a statement. "I've enjoyed the blessing of working with him and getting to know his family and we wish him all the success in professional football. Once a Bulldog always a Bulldog."

Green finishes his career with 166 receptions for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns. He missed the first four games of the 2010 season after being suspended by the NCAA for selling a game jersey for $1,000 to someone defined as an agent.

There will be a teleconference with Green in a few minutes, and I'll have an update following that.


Here's what Green had to say on a teleconference:

- He told Richt of the decision a couple days ago but still wasn't sure enough to make it official until Saturday.

“Throughout the past couple weeks it was pretty hectic, just making a strong decision for my family, and it just came down to what’s best for me and them," Green said. "And we made the best decision from that.”

- A projected NFL rookie salary cap or lockout didn’t have an impact.

“If I really thought about that I probably would’ve stayed in school. You really can’t have that as a factor, because you don’t know what’s going to be true.”

- Green spoke to Matt Stafford earlier in the week, as well as Mohammed Massaquoi.

“They gave me great advice,” Green said.

- He last spoke to the other juniors contemplating the draft - such as Justin Houston, Brandon Boykin and Cordy Glenn - a couple weeks ago, and had no idea of their leanings.

- Asked about his career at Georgia, Green said it hurt not to have been on a championship team, but otherwise felt good about how it went.

“I believe I had a great career at Georgia, coming in as a freshman I never thought I’d have that opportunity that I have now to make that step after my third year,” he said.

- He said he’s not thinking about being the No. 1 pick, and hasn’t picked an agent or decided where to train.

“I’m having too improve my game a lot," Green said of playing at the next level. "I’m going to have to get a little bigger, a little faster, a little stronger. But I feel I’m up to that challenge.”


Anonymous said...

He's an amazing athlete and always represented this University well on and off the field. Hate to see him go but wish him all the best.

Anonymous said...

Wish him the best. However, friend of mine leaving the Panthers' owner meeting last week said Jerry Rihcardson said in the meeting that he is 100% confident that there will be an extended lockout next season.

Scott said...

Now is the time to go before the NFL creates a rookie salary cap. He may miss a few games because of a lockout/strike, but he'll get his money before the NFL owners mess with the rules.

I'm sure AJ will go in the Top 5, maybe even 1 or two since Stanford QB Andrew Luck decided to stay in school!

PTC DAWG said...

Best of Luck AJ..

And it's obvious that the Panthers want a lock out..they've been on the cheap for a year or two.

I'm thinking it won't happen.

Willb said...

I hope he goes number one!

Two number one picks in three years! That would help recruiting more than anything.

Even if he doesn't go number one he is probably the best player in the draft in my opinion.

No matter what some people say Ga knows how to handle elite talent. If Stafford or Green would of went to any other school in the country there stock wouldn't of been higher. I hope some of the elite NFL type talent notices this. If you want to go to the NFL and get drafted high come to Ga!

Drew, Crowell, and Rome all have the talent to be NFL first round picks. I think the best place for them to showcase there talents is at Ga.

BullyMack said...

What is up with Houston? Classes start tomorrow, correct?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sad at all about Green leaving early. I wish him the best, but in my eyes he was a negative assett to the Bulldogs. I'm happy to see him go. I think he's selfish and doesn't bring anything to the team that I want. Once he gets to the NFL he can sell all the jerseys he wants.

Anonymous said...

Too bad he didn't get any bigger physically and really wasted this past year because of a stupid and selfish mistake. This guy should have shattered some records at UGA but again didnt thanks to this inept coaching staff.

NRBQ said...

If you're that big a damned fool, it's understandable that you post anonymously.

NRBQ said...

*Meant for 6:49 post.

Fake Name said...

As opposed to posting as NRBQ? Isn't that essentially posting anonymously? No one but yourself has any clue what those letters mean.

P.S. I love the name calling here, shows me why, even as an alum, I'm still a little bit weary of Georgia fans.

Doug said...

I'm happy for him. He will basically win the lottery in a few months. I hope he ha a great career in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

Well AJ sure can now go ahead and sell that pathetic Liberty Bowl jersey . Good Riddance !

C.C. LESTERS said...


Willb said...

We all knew Green was leaving so now I'm more wondering what Houston, Gleen, and Boykin will do.

I actually have a bad feeling about all of them. We could handle the loss of any of these players but obviously we would be better off if they all stayed.

All of them could improve there stock by returning. Houston I believe is a early second round pick right now. There's no telling where Glenn could go being a guard. Boykin is a player I believe would do real well in a combine setting and he might go higher then we think right now. Especially with his kick returning ability.

Still in my opinion everyone except for Green would make more money in there NFL career by returning for there Senior seasons. We could have an enormous amount of Dawgs in the draft next year. Depending on who stays this year and who might leave early next year we might have the most players of any team in the draft next year.

Anonymous said...

Looks like classes won't start tomorrow, BullyMack. They were canceled because of the storm.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Mark Richt and Mike Bobo. Three of the best offensive players to ever play here in Knowshon, Stafford and AJ, all three go pro early...and even MoMass as one of the best receivers, and you got NOTHING to show for it. You think Chip Kelly or Jim Harbaugh or Gary Patterson would've blown that talent?

The Panthers will NOT draft him, they need a lot more than a receiver.

TomTom said...

Willb, your grammar is embarrassing and your comments are vague. However, I appreciate your dedicated input and your passion for the Dawgs.

TomTom said...

I forgot a comma!

Willb said...

Your a idiot and they're team is better then us and they should a went where they were before there too sense and their too to tutu. Literally.

Just kidding. This isn't the real Willb. He hasn't butchered the Queen's English on this post yet, so I figured I'd help him out.