Still Awaiting the Verdict

ATHENS – As of right now, no Georgia underclassman has made a decision regarding the NFL draft, coach Mark Richt said Wednesday.

Yes, that includes star receiver A.J. Green, who most project will be a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft.

Richt admits Green, who finished with 57 catches, 848 yards and nine touchdowns in nine games this season, can do little in the way of improving his current standing.

But Green has yet to make a decision.

"I think A.J. Green probably can't help his draft status a whole lot," Richt said. "I think it's pretty obvious. I think if A.J. were to stay it would be for other reasons. There are other reasons besides money, and I'm not saying if he goes it's because of money. I'm not saying that in any shape or form."

Reports surfaced weeks ago that Green had already made the decision to turn pro. He disputed that report in a text to Dawg Post's Dean Legge.

"I have not made a decision yet," Green said.

He echoed that statement following Georgia's 10-6 loss to UCF in the Liberty Bowl.

"I'm just going to give it a couple days and let it pass through," Green said. "I'm going to go from there."

Other underclassmen mulling the decision: outside linebacker Justin Houston, cornerback Brandon Boykin and offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Trinton Sturdivant.

Both kicker Blair Walsh and punter Drew Butler also submitted paperwork to the NFL draft advisory board.

Richt said he's discussed the option with each player.

"Every other guy (outside of Green), absolutely, not only can he come back and be a leader, not only can he come back and improve his trade, not only can he come back and mature as a man, because when you go out there you better be ready. Not just physically, but you better be ready on a lot of levels."

Georgia just completed it's first losing season in 14 years, finishing 6-7 after a loss to UCF in the Liberty Bowl. Richt indicated he wants those juniors to return for 2011 to aid in a return to winning form.

"Every one of those guys, from what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing and the information I'm gathering and the information they're gathering, every one of those can improve," Richt said. "From strictly a business point of view, every one of them can improve their draft status by staying and becoming a part of next year's draft. They also have tremendous opportunity for some of the most prestigious postseason awards that this country has in college football. We know this game's not about individual things and we know when you win those awards it's because your team did well. They have set the stage for the ability to be considered the best at their position in the country, not just in our Southeastern Conference. So there's a lot of really good reasons for these guys to return."

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft is Jan. 15.

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