It seems that my little report on five-star recruit Christian Green created a bit of controversy down in his hometown of Tampa.
If you recall, I wrote about this dynamic 6-2, 195-pound quarterback/wide receiver in advance of his trip to Athens this past weekend for an official visit to the University of Georgia. In that report I quoted Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez talking about all the connections that Green had with the Bulldogs, namely that his older cousin E.G. Green played wideout under coach Mark Richt while Richt was at Florida State and that Green was buddies with fellow Tampa natives Aaron Murray and Orson Charles, who played at rival Plant High and now play for Georgia.
Tampa Catholic coach Bob Henriquez made a quip about Murray helping recruit Green for the Bulldogs. “Yeah, Aaron Murray’s been working on him,” Henriquez said with a laugh. “Aaron tried to recruit him away from Tampa Catholic over to Plant when he was over there, too. So I guess he’s recruiting him again.”
Well, apparently that comment created a firestorm down in Tampa. TampaBay.com wrote a whole story about it. They cited Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) rules, which state that “anyone affliated with a football program – including a player — trying to lure another player to a school is a recruiting violation.”
Henriquez shrugged it off in the TampaBay.com article. “It was just a kind of off-the-cuff statement,” he said. “They’re good friends. They know each other well. It was kind of just a running joke.” And he said basically the same thing to me when I called him Monday night to find out what all the fuss was about. “It was said in jest,” he said. “It’s no big deal. Don’t worry about it.”
Anyway, I’ve tried and tried to get us an update from Christian Green about his actual visit to UGA. But for whatever reason I just can’t get the kid to call me back. His voicemail is full and he hasn’t answered texts. Maybe he’s upset over the Murray quip, though Henriquez doubted as much.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Chris Harry filed a report about Green’s trip to Athens but it quoted only Christian’s father, Hiram Green. Mr Green said only, “He has the utmost respect for the Georgia program. And all the respect in the world for Coach Richt.”
As far as I can tell, Nick Valentino of UGAsports.com has been the only one to track down Green about his Georgia visit so far. In the subscription-only report, Green said, “I really enjoyed it. It went really well. Coach Richt, [receivers] Coach [Tony] Ball and pretty much all the coaching staff did something to make me feel comfortable. It was a good experience for me.” It also quoted Green as saying Murray was indeed recruiting him again.
“Yeah, he was trying to get me to come up there to Georgia, and I’m hoping we can play together someday,” Green said. “But I got to make my own decision.”