Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green returned to his old stomping grounds Saturday to provide a unique opportunity for high-school athletes.
The former Summerville High School standout hosted the first annual A.J. Green Skills Camp at Summerville’s Memorial Stadium, the place were he launched his football career and thrilled fans for four amazing years.
A large crowd of high-school football players age 14-18 attended the camp, where they received advice from Green, other professional football players and members of the SHS coaching staff. The campers also drilled under the supervision of the camp staff and participated in 7-on-7 passing competitions.
“For me, this is where it all started so it’s good to be back,” Green said. “Basically we hope to get across to these guys that they just need to work hard because anything is possible.”
Bengals’ defensive end Jamal Anderson, wide receiver Andrew Hawkins and cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris were among the players who made the trip from Cincinnati to help Green with the camp. Other NFL players who served as instructors included Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (Mega Tron), Buffalo Bills defensive back Stephon Gilmore and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Kevin Cone.
“Basically these are a lot of guys I play with and some that I train with,” Green said. “We’ve all played at the highest level so we know what it takes to get there so we hope all these guys out here today will be like a sponge and soak up everything we tell them and show them.”
Green participated in the Pro Bowl in both of his first two years in the NFL. In his first season, he recorded four 100-yard games and led all rookies in receptions and receiving yards, catching 65 passes for 1,057 yards in 15 games. Green’s yardage surpassed Cris Collinsworth’s franchise rookie receiving record of 1,009 yards set in 1981.
Making his accomplishments that season even more impressive is that those passes came from rookie QB Andy Dalton. Green and Dalton broke the all-time NFL record for yards and receptions by a rookie QB/WR tandem.
Later this summer, Green will open practice for his third season with the Bengals.
“I definitely want to continue to make the pro bowl and just to do all the things I can to help my team,” he said.
Green played his college football at the University of Georgia, where he was the leading Bulldog receiver for three straight seasons. He set multiple UGA freshman records and received multiple All-SEC honors.
Prior to that, Green was a four-year starter for the Green Wave football team who garnered All-state honors all four years.
He was named EA Sports top sophomore for the nation, was the only junior nominated to the USA Today All-American first team and was a member of the Rivals.com Junior All-America team.
Green’s 5,373 career receiving yards and 279 career receptions ranked second and fourth respectively on the National Federation of High Schools’ football all-time career receiving records. A two-sport athlete, Green also led the SHS 2007-2008 basketball team to a state championship.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org