Hands Across America: Is Georgia's A.J. Green the Best Wide Receiver in College?

Tyler EstepSenior Analyst IOctober 2, 2009

STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 5:  Wide receiver A.J. Green #8 of the Georgia Bulldogs is unable to hold onto the ball for an incomplete pass in front of Perrish Cox #16 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the first quarter of the game at Boone Pickens Stadium on September 5, 2009 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

We all know A.J. Green is good.

But (use your game show voices) how good is he?

Running backs coach Bryan McClendon, a former Georgia receiver: "He's truly one of the best I've ever seen, and the best I've ever been around. He's a guy that does amazing things and just makes it look so simple, and makes it look so effortless. It's gotten to the point where the guy, if he doesn't go out there and make something spectacular happen, then you're like what's going on?"

Quarterback Joe Cox: "He's one of the best I've ever seen. He's an incredible playmaker and he could end up being one of the best players to ever play here."

Wide receiver Michael Moore: "To me he's hands down the best receiver in the country. If anybody wants to doubt it, put the film on and see for yourself. It's amazing to be a part of what he does and just watch him go to work out there."

Without him, Georgia could very well be 0-4. With him, it's 3-1.

Starting this week with LSU's Chad Jones and continuing next week in Knoxville with Tennessee's Eric Berry, Green will go against two of the best safeties in the country.

Good, he says.

"It's going to take my game to a different level. I'm not going to try and do anything different, out of my character, but I'm just going to work hard and try to get open."

LSU corner Patrick Peterson is pretty good too, and, at least physically (6'1"), he matches up well with Green, though he's only a sophomore. But then again, Green is only a sophomore too.

A damn good sophomore.

Right now, Green is on pace for 1,391 receiving yards this season, which would shatter Terrence Edwards' Georgia record of 1,004.

He's also on track for 13 touchdowns, which would break Edwards' school record of 11.

He's headed toward 81 receptions as well, which would top Brice Hunter's mark of 76.

Said Green: "I like big challenges. They bring my game to a different level."

Which could be scary. Nay, downright frightening.

Talk about Alabama's Julio Jones being equally as good has subsided. In Bama's four games this year, Jones has just nine receptions for 185 yards. Weak sauce.

Green was nearly better than that Saturday against Arizona State, with eight catches and 153. And I bet Jones hasn't even blocked a field goal yet.

Green says he's "never in the zone," he's a "relaxed person." Which is true.

He's not in the zone.

A.J. Green is on his own planet. He's in his own solar system. He sits on his ethereal throne atop Mt. Olympus picking passes out of the sky as easily as his picks grapes off the vine he probably planted himself while doing a double gainer and catching a 40-pound bass and three touchdowns with Joe Cox the Fisherman.

What else can you say? Dude is good.


1,391: receiving yards this season, which would break Terrence Edwards' Georgia record of 1,004
13: touchdowns this season, which would break Edwards' Georgia record of 11
81: receptions this season, which would break Brice Hunter school record of 76
2,009: extrapolated for inflation, the yardage Green would tally in his junior season next year
4,363: given previous estimates, the total yardage Green would accumulate in his career if he opts to leave for the NFL after his junior season. That would shatter Edwards' school and SEC record of 3,093

This column originally appeared in The Red & Black.

Also, check out Estep's Georgia football blog.