ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia’s A.J. Green led the Southeastern Conference in receiving yards last football season as a 6-foot-4, 198-pound freshman.
Green now weighs 210 after three months of lifting weights and eating more salads. That’s right — more salads.
“I put whatever I want in them,” he said.
Grilled chicken, peanut butter and bananas also have played a part in the weight gain as Green looks to build upon a dynamic debut season of 963 yards and eight touchdowns on 56 receptions. His yardage total ranks third in Georgia single-season annals, trailing the 1,004 yards Terrence Edwards amassed in 2002 and the 970 Brice Hunter had in 1993.
Green was named Freshman All-American by The Sporting News and SEC Freshman of the Year by league coaches, despite a nagging groin injury he sustained on the first day of preseason camp. He was hoping the hindrance would be over by now but continued to experience soreness Thursday and may be limited during today’s first full-scale scrimmage.
“I don’t really know how he’s feeling on the inside,” Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said earlier this week, “but when I observe him, I’ve not seen what I saw toward the end of bowl practice. At bowl practice, I knew he was struggling.”
Said Green: “It’s going to be something special as far as what I can do when I’m healthy.”
Green’s 36-yard reception less than three minutes into the opener against Georgia Southern set up Georgia’s first touchdown last season, and his breakout game was an eight-catch, 159-yard performance at Arizona State. He had a seven-catch, 132-yard showing against Vanderbilt and caught winning touchdown passes in games at Kentucky and Auburn.
The Capital One Bowl was the only game in which Green didn’t have multiple receptions.
After compiling the most productive season for any freshman receiver in Georgia history, Green said he has no goals other than helping the team as much as possible. He believes having Joe Cox at quarterback will be like having Matthew Stafford last year, only now he can provide a larger target.
“It gets my confidence up just knowing that I am bigger and stronger,” Green said. “I think I can still leap, and I’ve still got my speed. As long as I can keep that, I’m not going to have any problem.”
Bulldogs add kicker
Junior college kicker Brandon Bogotay signed a late letter of intent with Georgia and will compete with sophomore Blair Walsh on field goals, extra points and kickoffs.
Bogotay (6-3, 200) is from San Diego and competed last season as a freshman at Grossmont College in El Cajon, Calif. He finished 15-of-23 on field goals, including a long of 52 yards, which were identical to the totals Walsh compiled last season.
Odds and ends
Richt said senior defensive tackle Geno Atkins probably has been the team’s most dominant player through six workouts. ... Quarterback Nick Montana, the 6-2, 177-pound son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, is visiting Alabama and Georgia on a long recruiting trip this weekend. Montana, from Westlake Village, Calif., is among Rivals.com’s top 250 prospects for the 2010 class.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...