Georgia WR A.J. Green declares for NFL draft

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“I’m pretty sure a bunch of my family and friends could make that trip easily,” he said.

Over a three-year college career, Green had 166 catches for 2,619 yards and 23 touchdowns. Even missing four games this past season, he led the Bulldogs with 57 catches for 848 yards and nine touchdowns.

Still, his career ends without the Bulldogs coming close to a championship. This past season, Georgia went 6-7 _ its first losing season since 1996.

“It hurts,” said Green, adding that a title “is what I came here for. But things happen for a reason. I’ll keep working, and I’ll be a Bulldog for life. I’ll miss the guys and the coaches.”

Green said he needs only two semesters of school to earn his degree and intends to finish his academic work even as he prepares for the NFL.

A.J. has made an immeasurable impact on our team over the past three seasons and we wish him nothing but the best,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “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.”

Georgia is still waiting for a decision from outside linebacker Justin Houston, a second-team All-American who had 10 sacks, 18.5 tackles for losses and excelled in a 3-4 scheme installed by new coordinator Todd Grantham.

Offensive lineman Trinton Sturdivant said Friday he plans to return for his senior season. He started as a true freshman in 2007 and was regarded as Georgia’s rising star on the offensive line before he missed the 2008 and 2009 seasons with knee injuries.

Sturdivant returned to win a starting job in the second half of the 2010 season, but said he believes he can improve his draft status by playing another year of college.

Green is done.

“You never know with the draft, but it’s going to be a fun process,” he said. “I’m going to work to get as high as I can.”

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