A reason for UGA fans to smile: The utterly great A.J. Green

A.J. Green makes the difficult catches look easy. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

A.J. Green makes the difficult catches look easy. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Today, for the sake of variety, we offer one reason to feel good about the Georgia Bulldogs. His name is A.J. Green.

He is, for want of a better word, great. He should be the best receiver in the country. (Yes, better than Alabama’s Julio Jones.) If Aaron Murray can throw the ball in Green’s vicinity, he’ll snag it. Mark Richt’s precise description of Green: “He attacks the football.” He’s the finest Bulldog pass-catcher ever and, with all due respect to Stafford and Moreno and Greene and Hearst and Zeier, he could be the best UGA offensive player since Herschel.

The famous Mel Kiper of ESPN rates Green the fourth-best player apt to available in the 2011 NFL draft. (Green, as we know, is a junior.) Todd McShay of Scouts Inc. has him going seventh overall next April. And that’s coming off a season in which Green had Joe Cox as his quarterback and got hurt to boot. This fall could and should be far better. (Not that 2009 was bad.)

We around here were lucky to see a big-time receiver up close not long ago. His name was Calvin Johnson, and he played at Georgia Tech, and he was the second player drafted in 2007. Green is in that class. And that’s a class, to borrow Bum Phillips’ line about Earl Campbell, for which it doesn’t take long to call the roll.

Equal time: A reason for Georgia Tech fans to smile. (And it has nothing to do with Damon Evans.)

152 comments Add your comment

Lanne Kiffin

July 13th, 2010
9:39 am

thanks for the smile. First?

JB

July 13th, 2010
9:40 am

I hope Murray to AJ isn’t what Reggie Ball was to Calvin……A stat killer………..

Mark Bradley

July 13th, 2010
9:40 am

First, Lanne Kiffin. Kudos.

Mark Bradley

July 13th, 2010
9:40 am

So much for the smile, JB.

sogadog

July 13th, 2010
9:41 am

Football is won and lost in the trenches. Flashy receivers and finesse passing games are nice to have but they dont win championships. Championship teams run the ball effectively and play aggressive hard nose defense. AJ is great, but he cant bring a championship back to Athens.

WonderDawg

July 13th, 2010
9:42 am

Thanks, Mark.

Benjamin

July 13th, 2010
9:43 am

I have a good feeling about this Georgia football team in general, MB. We’ve got a new D-cord, several young stars being a year older, and I know he was one of the names in the mixup the other day, but T-King is going to be good on the other side.

This Georgia team could be fairly special in a year where Florida lost Tebow, Tennessee’s in turmoil, etc. in the East.

ifyouarebored

July 13th, 2010
9:45 am

God bless you Mark. We need a little positive reinforcement.

Dan

July 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Still not Calvin…

AJGREENFAN

July 13th, 2010
9:52 am

Hope he remains out of trouble his last few months on campus……………….

Immenent RuRu

July 13th, 2010
9:53 am

AJ ain’t all that; he can’t stay healthy. He needs at least two more years to mature his body and learn self-protection skills on the field before he goes to The Old Not For Long League.

He is a fine player, however, but with much room to improve.

Go Dawgs and Whiskey River Leebern, take me home!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 13th, 2010
9:55 am

Having watched the young man since his Freshman year at Summerville it is hard to imagine now his time at UGA is winding down.

Cuz

July 13th, 2010
9:55 am

No he is not Calvin. He is AJ and the kid is an absolute football beast. He will still be playing when I am collecting Social Security, Matter of fact when I am 67, AJ will still be around, Social Security may not.

F-105 Thunderchief

July 13th, 2010
9:58 am

Hmmm, can a Jeff Schultz pro-Julio Jones blog be far behind? He doesn’t seem to agree with you much lately.

jay dawg

July 13th, 2010
10:00 am

you’re right he’s not Calvin, he’s better than Calvin. AJ is the best pass catcher this game has seen. period

Worm

July 13th, 2010
10:02 am

With our O line and running game, Green should put up great numbers,If murray can get him the ball..Should have several bombs thrown his way.

Dan

July 13th, 2010
10:03 am

Ha. Sure he is, jay dawg.

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Dawghater

July 13th, 2010
10:05 am

Hey Mark, Do you think AJ Green and throw the ball and catch it also?

jay needs a shrink

July 13th, 2010
10:11 am

Let me pass you some more Jim Beam, jay dawg.

Mark Bradley

July 13th, 2010
10:19 am

I like a lot of stuff about this Georgia team, Benjamin. I don’t like those back-to-back games against South Carolina and Arkansas in September.

Saint Richt

July 13th, 2010
10:22 am

Jay, lay off the booze and the crack rock in the morning.

Taylor Hanson

July 13th, 2010
10:26 am

Yes Jay, he’s much better than Jerry Rice.

Taylor Hanson

July 13th, 2010
10:29 am

I agree MB, but at least the second of the back to back is in Athens. Certainly better than vice versa or if neither were at home.

Will

July 13th, 2010
10:29 am

There has been so much negativity it’s hard to smile right now if you are a UGA alum. This is one of the few summers I’m not real excited for the season to start. Other than the good recruiting class CMR is putting together this spring and summer have been horrible! And yes I am including the pathetic performance that was the G Day game at which our much heralded offensive line was dominated by a smaller, clueless(at the time) defense. If they don’t turn it around look for a 6 win season at best. I guess I am just so down on my dawgs I don’t know what to do. I just want everyone to know we are the east coasts version of the Oregon Ducks. Which is not good at all.

Summit Dawg..

July 13th, 2010
10:29 am

Go Dawgs…..I believe we will surprise a lot of folks this year! If Mark can keep them out of jail!!!!

Andy

July 13th, 2010
10:31 am

The best offensive player since Herschel? That’s a bold statement. I forsee you crunching many numbers in a future entry to back that claim up. Oh yeah, don’t forget about Hines Ward either. He was a damn good offensive player that could throw it, run it, and catch it.

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Dawghater

July 13th, 2010
10:36 am

Summit Dawg – that says a lot about your program. Nice!

Mark Bradley

July 13th, 2010
10:39 am

You’re right. Hines Ward was a fine player. Rodney Hampton was a fine player. But I think Green is finer.

jaglaw

July 13th, 2010
10:41 am

Why cant the rest of the team stay out of trouble like AJ?

ON ANOTHER NOTE:

HEY Mark Bradley. Did you see where the UNC OLB was charged with pot possession. Typical punishment for said offense ranges from missing a series, or possibly one quarter of a game, according to College Football Tonight.

WTF????? This type punishment makes CMR look like a dictator. Why no article on Butch Davis for his lack of discipline? Really Mark, I like your columns. Just wondering your thoughts? Missing a series for pot possession?? COM’ON MAN!!

PMC

July 13th, 2010
10:42 am

Mark, I’ll start being concerned with South Carolina when they have a QB that can play with any consistancy whatsoever. That games going to be really tough for Georgia because the defense should be good and the offense has a lot of pieces… but the most important piece the QB…still leaves a lot to be desired.

As for Arkansas. Hmmm. Well they scored 40+ pts on Willies defense last year and lost. Thier defense hasn’t improved. Great QB, Great offensive jerk as a head coach…next to worthless defense. Less of a reason to worry about that back to back, they’ve seen far worse schedules the last several years.

Mark Bradley

July 13th, 2010
10:43 am

That’s some tough Tar Heel love, jaglaw.

lazydawg

July 13th, 2010
10:44 am

Mark, he’s better than Calvin and so is Julio. Sorry Yellow backs;)

balismith

July 13th, 2010
10:46 am

hey mark i did not know that you and schultz were angry at one another

Ted M

July 13th, 2010
10:49 am

The NL is going to win this year, we have way better pitching. If we get 5 innings out of Ubaldo Jimenez and Josh Johnson we’ll head into the late inning with a lead.

Home field advantage for the Braves in the World Series?

The game though is going to be all about George Steinbrenner.

CLARKE COUNTY SHERIFF

July 13th, 2010
10:50 am

We have an APD out for Mr. Greene of the UGA football program. Some guy named Saban with backing from a Mr Meyer has donated handsomely to the “Clarke County” police benevelont association and we are gonna get their, I mean “OUR” man! Stay tuned!!!

Ted M

July 13th, 2010
10:52 am

dagnabit

July 13th, 2010
10:54 am

Jaglaw is right! Shame lives at North Carolina football.

jaglaw

July 13th, 2010
10:54 am

Hey Mark,

Have you spoken wiht AJ in some time? Was wondering if he might consider returning for his senior year?

I think decisions like that can really help a school…. see UF with Brandon Spikes and Tebow.

AJ has really been great for UGA and has given his all. Is he considering a Senior season?

Just wondering if the question has been asked.

CLARKE COUNTY SHERIFF

July 13th, 2010
10:57 am

Ted, It’s hard for me to write. much less type…

( STATS )

July 13th, 2010
10:58 am

Let’s compare,
.
Calvin Johnson had 178 receptions, good for 2,927 yards and 28 touchdowns @ GT.
.
Adriel Jeremiah ” A.J.” Green has 103 receptions, good for 1,714 yards and 14 touchdowns @ UGA.

Mark Bradley

July 13th, 2010
10:58 am

I haven’t spoken with Mr. Green since last season. But it would be tough for any player rated in the top 10 to stick around.

Driving Mr. Evans

July 13th, 2010
10:58 am

Good one Jay. I needed a laugh this AM.

jaglaw

July 13th, 2010
11:01 am

Hey Sheriff,

I practice law with several of those UF grads and so many things are overlooked in Gainesville. I am not suggesting financial corruption, but even the alumi (attorneys) admitt that players get special treatment.

One even said to me: ” I dont doubt that they (PD) are harder on those boys at UGA, because I know the same stuff happens in Gainesville, but we dont have nearly the number of arrests.”

I was talking one-on-one from a player on the 06 UF NC team and he said that they did just as much partying as anyone.

Oh well, Sheriff gots to make dat money too.

WCM87

July 13th, 2010
11:06 am

AJ, please man, stay clean. You and the entire team should know that between UGA police and Clarke County police there is a cop assigned to each student athlete and they tail you your entire career. Remember what jollies they got chasing dogs on scooters last year? Keep your nose clean man. Don’t become a MACKUUHVEEK before you make it big. Good luck and GO DOGS!

Been there and Done That

July 13th, 2010
11:13 am

Randy Moss was a pretty good player, Jerry Rice, Terrell Owens, et al
He is a great receiver bust best ever?

Been there and Done That

July 13th, 2010
11:13 am

Mike Jay

July 13th, 2010
11:13 am

Immenent RuRu ,
So a player misses 3 games due to a nasty shoulder inury and he is injury prone? Odd definition you got there.

WCM87

July 13th, 2010
11:14 am

Dang! I’m in a time zone 6 hours behind Atlanta. I can’t be first unless I stay up all night. I knew I shouldn’t have taken this vacation