ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green seemed to move closer Saturday to confirming what most have assumed for a long time: that he will turn pro after this season.
Green said he was “close” to making a decision and ruled out the one factor that he had said earlier could make him return. After meeting with an NFL executive and speaking to former teammates now in the pros, Green said a potential NFL lockout would not have an impact.
“I did a lot of research on it, just thinking, looking at some of the stuff going (on),” Green said. “I don’t think there’s going to be a lockout. I think it’s going to last a couple days. There’s going to be a lot of people losing a lot of money if there’s a lockout.”
Green also said he understands there would be a draft regardless of a lockout. That’s the general assumption in the NFL as well, though it hasn’t been confirmed.
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Green was one of about a half-dozen Bulldogs who met last week with Atlanta Falcons president Rich McKay. The others attending the meeting, according to Green, were linebacker Justin Houston, cornerback Brandon Boykin, guard Cordy Glenn, kicker Blair Walsh and offensive tackle Trinton Sturdivant.
Those players have or will submit their names to the NFL’s draft advisory board for an evaluation.
But Green said he would not, because coach Mark Richt told him “there was no need.”
Green is expected to be the first wide receiver taken in the draft and could be a high first-round pick.
Still, Green wasn’t willing to grant that he was even leaning toward leaving.
He said he would sit down with his parents to make the decision, and said there was still reason to stay at Georgia.
“I came here to win. Just to get a championship,” Green said. “That would be some of the reason I could stay.”
‘Change the culture’
The announced changes in the strength and conditioning program already have begun, at least one part of them.
Dave Van Halanger, who was removed from his duties running the program, has not been active around the weight room, according to quarterback Aaron Murray. Van Halanger was assigned new duties as an administrative assistant to Richt.
Joe Tereshisnki II, who was put in charge of the strength program, is due to start the job on Jan. 1, the day after the Liberty Bowl.
Reaction to Meyer
Murray, a Tampa native, considered Florida before committing to Georgia. He was asked Saturday his reaction to the resignation of Urban Meyer as the Gators’ coach.
“It’s definitely an honorable thing to do,” Murray said. “If the man wants to spend time with his family, I mean, family comes first in everything you do. He had a tremendous, what, six years at Florida.”
Murray said he had spoken to some Gator fans back in Florida since the news broke.
“Everyone’s a little upset,” he said. “But it’s Florida, they’ll be fine in the end.”