Big Play Green Starting To Get Noticed

Talented two-way performer T.J. Green talks about his 67-yard game winner against John Carroll and his recruiting.

Sylacauga, Ala.—An impressive performer at one of Auburn's summer camps, Sylacauga standout athlete T.J. Green has come back from an early injury to make a huge impact for the Aggies as coach Matt Griffith's team is off to a 4-0 start in 2012. The biggest of his plays came Friday night against John Carroll and his team needing a lift.

Trailing 30-25 with just over a minute left in the game and facing a fourth and 23 from its own 33-yard line, Sylacauga turned to its best player to get the job done. Quarterback Hunter Johns dropped back to pass and looked to his left where Green was cutting into the middle of the field. Running through contact just before the ball arrived, Green kept his focus, caught the pass, and raced 67 yards for the winning score on homecoming.

"I knew Coach was coming to me the whole time," Green tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "You just have to step up and make big plays when they are needed. I saw the wide open spot and had to go get it. We both broke on it, but I came up with it. After that all I was thinking was the end zone."

Calling the play for his best player, Griffith said that Green delivered when his team needed him.

"There is no doubt," Griffith said. "The sad thing is that he's such an explosive player and we need him so much defensively that we only use him in spots on offense. I tell you what, we basically drew that one up right there at the end to get T.J. open across the middle. Once he caught it he still had 10 or 15 yards to make a first down. He just took off and wound up scoring. It was just a great player making a great play, and you can't coach that."

Green looks for running room on one of his catches Friday night

Bothered by a broken hand suffered in AAU basketball over the summer, the 6-2, 188 Green is just starting to round into form for the Aggies. It started two weeks ago in a big win over Ramsey as he returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and also an interception 50 yards for a score. He said for him it was just about knocking some of the rust off, playing football, and helping his team earn a playoff spot.

"I think I'm getting there," Green said. "I'm getting better over time. We're just trying to go all the way this year. We just have to keep fighting.

"I'm just trying to step up more when the team needs me," he added. "I'm trying to be a senior leader and do what I have to do."

In addition to his big catch to seal the game offensively, Green also had several big plays on defense. The biggest came on third and 27 with just seconds to go as he knocked down an attempted double-pass by the Cavaliers to seal the win for the Aggies.

"I tell you what, his presence defensively is huge for us," Griffith said. "The kid is a Division I football player, no doubt."

With offers from UAB and Troy at the moment and also hearing from Auburn, Green said he's just hoping to go as big as he can go this year. Already with a visit to see the Blazers, he said he's also expecting to check out Southern Miss soon as well.

Green's heroics spoiled a great game by John Carroll running back Kenny Johnson. A 6-0, 225-pounder that plays both fullback and tailback, he finished with 174 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the loss and also made several plays on defense.

Kenny Johnson

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories