There is little surprise in the Lowcountry, or around the Southeastern Conference. A.J. Green distinguished himself as a precocious wide receiver eight football seasons ago when he caught 10 passes for 203 yards as a Summerville freshman playing in one of his first high school games, a 21-14 victory at Wando.
Last year, Green became the first rookie receiver to play in a Pro Bowl since 2003.
Tonight in Honolulu, the 24-year-old gets his first Pro Bowl start.
Numbers and praise tell why the Cincinnati Bengals are delighted with their 2011 first-round draft pick out of Georgia:
Jerry Rice, the NFL’s career leader in most pass-catching categories, widely is considered the best wide receiver in pro football history.
Green’s first two NFL seasons compare well with Rice’s first two.Player Seasons Catches Yards Touchdowns
Jerry Rice 1985-86 135 2,497 18
A.J. Green 2011-12 162 2,407 18
A.J. on A.J.
On being a Pro Bowl pick for the second year in a row: “Two years, two Pro Bowls. That’s got a good buzz to it,” Green told the Bengals web site. “But I’ve got a long way to go to be where I want to be. I want to be great.”
Envy with Green
Green appears to be closing in on the Detroit Lions’ Calvin Johnson for the title of best active receiver in the NFL.
A.J.’s 162 catches rank second in NFL history for most receptions over the first two seasons (Marques Colston, 168).
The Elias Sports Bureau says Green is the only player in NFL history to have 100 receptions, 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first 20 games.
A.J.’s Pro Bowl guest list
Same as last January, parents Woodrow and Dora Green, and girlfriend/R&B singer Miranda Brooke
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis on A.J.
“By far the most talented guy I’ve seen as a receiver,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said of Green.
Lewis, after finding out Green’s parents declined an invitation to sit in the Bengals’ VIP section during a visit to training camp, choosing instead to watch with other fans: “That’s them. That speaks volumes for why he’s the way he is. I marvel at him in everything he does. He’s a godsend of a person that way. He’s just got the right stuff.”
Other S.C. Pro Bowl ties
C.J. Spiller (Clemson), Buffalo Bills, running back
Jonathan Joseph (South Carolina), Houston Texans, cornerback
What: NFC vs. AFC
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
TV: WCBD (NBC)
Reach Gene Sapakoff at 937-5593 or on Twitter @sapakoff.