Friday, August 22, 2008

Countdown to UGA-GSU: 8 Days

#8 A.J. Green, FL
6-4, 190, Summerville SC (Summerville HS), True Freshman
The long-awaited arrival of Green is over, as Mark Richt's most anticipated recruit (only Matt Stafford could be argued as equal) is now in Athens and ready to see the field. Green committed to UGA early in his junior season at Summerville, although many believe that he was a silent commitment going back all the way to the Athens Nike Camp the previous April. He was the consensus #1 or #2 wide receiver prospect in the land coming out of high school, depending on which recruiting service you look at (Alabama's Julio Jones was the other WR), and chose UGA over South Carolina, Auburn and Clemson, although none of those 3 actually had a good shot at him. As a junior at Summerville he caught 65 passes for 1,203 yards and 14 touchdowns. As a senior, over 80 balls for over 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns. He returned 9 punts his senior year, and took about half of them to the house. Green doesn't dazzle you with fancy 40 times and vertical leaps. He makes plays (and highlight reels) when the pads are on and the whistle is blown. It is that simple. You hear coaches sometimes talk about "football speed" as opposed to "track speed." That may be Green in a nutshell.
Depth Chart Analysis: While he hasn't cracked the "official" starting lineup yet, most of what you read so far seems to indicate it is just a matter of time. (He's currently right behind Mohammed Massaquoi on the depth chart.) It is worth noting that minor hip flexor has kept him from going full speed every day since fall camp began, but that appears to be completely behind him now. Mark Richt isn't a guy that is prone to talking his players up, especially a true freshman. But even Coach has a hard time containing his excitement. Let's keep an eye on how fast he picks up the offense. He's already a become a crowd favorite before he's even stepped on the field in Sanford Stadium, and the first time he trots out next Saturday, alot of folks will be on the edge of their seats. It is tough for freshman to live up to those kinds of expectations, but this is a player that you have a hard time believing won't do it early and often. Green and Tavarres King are going to make a nice WR corps in Athens for the next few years.

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