Going Green: Georgia wideout A.J. Green on verge of a breakout

JOHN HELSLEY Published: August 29, 2009
STILLWATER — A wide receiver stands primed for a potential breakout on the big stage in Stillwater.

Dez Bryant? Nope, that would be Georgia’s A.J. Green.

No slight on the Cowboys’ Bryant. He busted through a year ago, and by all accounts is the national gold standard for wideouts.

"I don’t think A.J. is nearly as established as Dez,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt.

Established, no. But then, neither was Bryant at this point a year ago.

On the verge? Yes. Again, that would be Georgia’s A.J. Green.

Much like the simmering Cowboy in the summer of 2008, Green charges toward his own coming-out party after a strong freshman year.

The similarities are striking.

As freshmen, each played understudy roles to veteran receivers. For Bryant, it was Adarius Bowman, who had five 100-yard receiving games and eight touchdowns in ’07. For Green, it was Mohamed Massaquoi, an All-SEC pick taken in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

As Bryant seized the spotlight as a sophomore, the same is expected of Green in his Year 2.

"Yeah, you know it’s crazy,” Green told reporters in Athens. "I’m going into my sophomore year and everybody is looking up to me.”

Both are big receivers, with go-get-it attitudes and skills.

Bryant is 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds. Green stands 6-4 and 208.

"He’s a freak athlete,” Bulldogs quarterback Joe Cox said of Green. "He makes some of the toughest catches just look routine.”

We’ve heard and witnessed all the same with Bryant.

After coming on late in his freshman season and finishing with 43 catches, 622 yards and six touchdowns, Bryant dominated as a sophomore.

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