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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Postgame: Green and Houston hint at futures

The conventional wisdom holds that Georgia's A.J. Green and Justin Houston probably played their final games at Sanford Stadium in Saturday's win over Georgia Tech. While neither player confirmed or denied that afterwards, they’re not leaving without a fight from Georgia fans – in Green’s case – or head coach Mark Richt – in Houston’s.

Georgia fans chanted “one more year” at the end of the game, when Green came over to celebrate with the students. Richt smiled when asked about that.

“I’m all for that,” he said.

Green admitted he heard the chant. He reiterated that he would make a decision – “the best one for me and my family” – after the bowl game.

“This went by fast. Now I’m a junior, and I have an opportunity to leave, to do what I love the most,” Green said. “It just went by so fast. Standing on that thing by the student section, to hear them chanting and going crazy, it’s just a dream, man.”
Houston echoed his earlier statements about not wanting to talk about the decision.

If it was his final game at Sanford Stadium, it was a doozy: He returned a fumble for a touchdown, then sealed the game with his first interception as a college player.

“It was a great way to go out if it is my last one,” Houston said. “But I really don’t want to think about that right now. We just beat Tech, and that’s all I want to think about.”

Richt engaged in a bit of public lobbying for Houston to come back for his senior season and perhaps improve his draft position.

“I have no earthly idea what the future holds for him,” Richt said. “My hope is that he’s a Bulldog for another season, and improves his draft status to where he’s a top 10 pick. Because I think he’s got that capability. I don’t know if he’s there right now. But I think he’s one of those guys that can move himself into that kind of position. But it always comes down to everybody doing what’s best for these guys. And time will tell.”

Meanwhile, recruiting was heavy on Richt’s mind after the game. He said he hoped the atmosphere had an impact on the many high school players Georgia was hosting on Saturday night.

Columbus tailback Isaiah Crowell, who was spotted wearing Georgia gear, was probably central in Richt’s mind.

Richt also said the coaches would hit the recruiting trail hard this week, which begins an open contact period, when coaches are also able to make unlimited phone calls to recruits. The Bulldogs are likely to take the week off of practice, and start their allotment of 15 practices after they know their destination and opponent.

“We’re gonna be recruiting the heck out of the guys that we’ve got,” Richt said. “We’re gonna recruit the ones that are already committed, recruit the ones that are hoping to commit, and we’ll also spend time on the 2012 and ’13 and ’14 class. We’ll still be out there beating the bushes looking at the young guys as we get along.”

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