100: AJ Green, Wide Receiver #8 (2008 – Present)
“You put the ball in his reach, and he will gather it in - just like the monster of the sea.” – Loran Smith
This fall, Georgia fans will witness what will most likely be the final season in Athens for arguably the most talented receiver in Georgia history. Adriel Jeremiah Green, better known as AJ, came to Georgia as the crown jewel of Mark Richt’s 2008 recruiting class. Green was ranked as one of the top players in the country for his career at Summerville (SC) High School, where he caught 279 passes for 5,373 yards (second all-time in the National Federation of High School’s records). After arriving on campus in the summer of 2008, Green was hampered by an injury that limited his playing time in the first few games of the season. When Georgia traveled to Tempe to take on Arizona State, Green had his official coming out party. He hauled in 8 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown in what was just the beginning of a great freshman season.
During his freshman year, Green would be named a Freshman All-American and the SEC Freshman of the Year. He caught 56 passes for 963 yards and 8 touchdowns. Among those catches included scores against Kentucky and Auburn that ultimately proved to be game winners.
During the first half of the 2009 season, Green was the difference maker that kept Georgia from having a terrible season. Never was this more apparent that the game against Arizona State. With the Sun Devils poised to take the lead with an easy field goal, Green blocked the attempt and Georgia took over. A few plays later (on third down), Green broke free from coverage and hauled in a long pass that set up the game winning field goal. The following week, Green made this amazing catch to give Georgia the lead late in the 4th quarter against LSU:
Green would continue to have a great season until suffering a shoulder injury against Auburn. He did not play again until the bowl game against Texas A&M (and still looked hurt). Overall, it was another fantastic season for Green. Despite missing 3 full games, AJ still put up 53 receptions for 808 yards and 6 touchdowns. Now heading into his junior (and most likely last season) at Georgia, AJ Green will be amongst the favorites for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation’s best receiver. Aaron Murray better enjoy having AJ to throw to, because before you know, he will be gone!