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January 9, 2011For A.J. Green, the timing was right.
With that, arguably the most talented receiver to put on a Georgia uniform announced Sunday he was submitting his name to enter the NFL Draft.
"The last two weeks were pretty hectic," Green said in a teleconference Sunday. "But it came down to what's best for me and my family, so I made the best decision for that."
A native of Summerville, S.C., played in 32 games over the past three years as a Bulldog, starting 27 of them. He recorded 166 receptions for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns.
"A.J. has made an immeasurable impact on our team over the past three seasons and we wish him nothing but the best," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt "I've enjoyed the blessing of working with him and getting to know his family and we wish him all the success in professional football. Once a Bulldog always a Bulldog."
Green said his decision was more difficult than many may realize.
The Summerville, S.C. native said he didn't come to a final decision until Saturday, although he told Richt a few days ago that he would likely be leaving early.
Green said he also consulted with former teammates Matthew Stafford and Mohamed Massaquoi.
"This is a dream I've had since I was a little boy," Green said. "I feel I'm ready to make that next step to the NFL."
Green said the decision of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck did not figure into his decision. Luck was projected by some to be the top pick in the draft.
"Nah, man, to each his own," Green said. "I'm my own person. I felt this was the best decision for me."
Green is projected to be a Top 5 pick in April's Draft, some even suggesting that he might go No. 1. The Carolina Panthers have the first pick, something Green concedes would be an attractive proposition.
"Definitely, it's close to home plus I'm sure a bunch of my family would be able to come see me play," said Green, who added he has not yet hired an agent.
Green also indicated he has only two semesters of school left to graduate and intends to work on that as well.
"While it was a difficult decision, it came down to the opportunity of pursuing a dream I've had since early childhood," said Green. "But Georgia is a great place and I'm so appreciative of the opportunity to be a Georgia Bulldog. I want to thank the coaches, my teammates and the fans that have supported me and helped me grow not only as a player but as a man."