Archive for the ‘NFL Player Profiles’ Category

Running backs are almost becoming a dying breed these days in the NFL since its turning more into a passing league.  For running backs like Marshawn Lynch that is not a problem since he is a powerful runner and a great pass catcher.  Lynch has made a reputation for being a bruising running back that can punish you with his strength, or burn you with his speed.  Lynch is one of the best running backs in the league and he is always picked in the first round of every fantasy football draft since he has proven to be a tough player.  He has the potential to be a Hall of Fame player and if he stays in “Beast Mode” he should have no problem getting there.

Marshawn Terrell Lynch was born on April 22nd, 1986 in Oakland California.  Lynch attended Oakland Technical High School.  In his 2003 high school season he racked up 1,722 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns in only 8 games.  In the postseason he had 375 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in two games.  He was voted a PrepStar and SuperPrep All-American and was also voted as the San Francisco East Bay Player of the Year.  He also played defensive back, a little bit at QB, and dabbled in the wide receiver position.  Rivals.com ranked him as the #2 player in the nation right behind Adrian Peterson.  While in high school he kept in shape by being a track star and played basketball in the offseason. 

Lynch decided to play his college ball at the University of California, Berkeley.  He played football for the California Golden Bears and was a major in social welfare.  As a freshman he was the back up running back but still totaled up 628 yards and 8 touchdowns.  In 2005, Lynch was named the starter for the Golden Bears and he took advantage of it by rushing for 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He led the team to the Las Vegas Bowl where he ran for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns and was named MVP.  The 2006 season was an interesting one for Lynch.  He was on track to win the Maxwell Award and the University launched a program for Lynch to win the Heisman.  He rushed for 1,356 yards and 11 touchdowns including a game winning touchdown against Washington.  Lynch was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year and holds the school record for most 100-yard games with 17.

Lynch decided to enter the 2007 NFL Draft and was selected 12th overall by the Buffalo Bills and agreed to a six-year, $18.935 million contract.  The Bills were in need of a running back badly so they had him start as a rookie.  He made an immediate impact by being able to rush, catch, and even throw the ball.  He missed some time due to injuries but he still went over 1,000 yards and totaled 7 touchdowns.  He even threw a TD pass, which was the first touchdown pass completed by a Bills non-QB since 1981.  The next season the Bills got a new offensive coordinator and did not utilize Lynch like people expected.  Lynch still had 1,036 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, but there were numerous times he was on the sideline during crucial parts of the game. 

In 2009, Lynch plead guilty to a weapons charge and was suspended for 3 games.  In his absence Fred Jackson shouldered the load while Lynch only had 450 yards and two touchdowns.  He did not have a single game over 100 yards while Jackson had over 1,000 yards.  In the 2010 season Lynch suffered an ankle sprain in the preseason and was expected to be out for a few weeks.  He played in three games that season before the Bills traded him to the Seattle Seahawks for two draft picks, a fourth-rounder in 2011 and a conditional pick in 2012.

Lynch went to Seattle where he was welcomed with open arms and utilized as much as they could.  His first TD came against the Bears on October 17th and then on Dec 5th he had 3 scores against the Panthers.  The Seahawks made the playoffs  that season and against the Saints Lynch had one of the best runs to ever be seen.  Lynch had a 67-yard touchdown run where he broke nine tackles for the touchdown.  The reaction from the crowd was so strong that it was recorded as seismic activity at a monitoring station 100 yards away from the stadium.  In the short time he played that season he still managed 747 yards and 6 touchdowns. 

The 2011 season would prove to be one of his best years by rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 TDs.  He set a franchise record that year for consecutive games with a rushing TD with 10.  After the season ended the Seahawks signed Lynch to a 4 year $31 million contract.  In 2012 Lynch was in the best “Beast Mode” we have ever seen by rushing for 1,590 yards and 11 TDs.  During the two seasons he has been on the Seahawks he has been playing the best football of his career and has made the Pro Bowl both years.  Now in 2013, Lynch is already off to a great start by making big plays and helping his team win.  He is already on pace to have a record year.

Lynch was ranked #24 in the Top 100 Players of 2013; been named to 3 Pro Bowls, First Team All-Pro in 2012, and ranked #94 in the Top 100 Players of 2012.  So far in his career he has 6,132 rushing yards, 46 TDs, and averaging 4.1 yards per carry.  I do not see anything slowing Lynch down at this point in his career.  He will be around for a long time and I can see him ending his career with a lot more awards under his belt.

Advertisements

Deion Sanders is a rare breed of football player.  He was considered one of the best defensive backs to ever play the game and has the stats to prove it.  On the field he was loud, energetic, and fast.  Off the field he lived an expensive life that got him into trouble numerous times.  Sanders was raised in a low income family and he was determined to be the best he could to get out of that environment.  When you watched Sanders play you could tell that he had a genuine love for the game of football, but he also loved the attention which earned him the nickname, “Prime Time”.  I was able to see Sanders play for the majority of his career and it was always a fun game to watch when he stepped on the field.  He was also a pretty good baseball player and it is rare to have an athlete excel at two professional sports.  

Deion Luwynn Sanders Sr. was born on August 9th, 1967 in Fort Meyers, Florida.  He was born into a family where is biological father was heavy into drugs and his mother was forced to work two jobs to support the family.  Sanders got into trouble at a young age and his mother would not bail him out she wanted him to learn his lesson with the law at a young age.  To keep him out of trouble his mother made him play Pop Warner football at the age of 9.  Even though he was small; he was a very fast kid and nobody could catch him.  His father would come to the games when Deion was 10 and would bet on the games and put pressure on Deion to do well so he could win money.

By the time he entered high school at North Fort Myers High School and excelled in baseball, football, and basketball.  He made All-State in all three sports and lettered in all three as well.  Sanders used to drive his mother around to rich neighborhoods and tell her that one day he was going to buy her a huge house and get the family out of the projects.  In 1985, Sanders was named to the Florida High School Association All Century Team.  Coming out of high school the Kansas City Royals offered Sanders a $75,000 contract to play baseball for their minor league team and at the same time Florida State offered him a full ride scholarship to attend their college.  Sanders decided to go to college instead because he thought he could make more money in the long run.

Sanders went to Florida State and played under head coach Bobby Bowden.  He also played baseball and even track.  On the football field Sanders was a two-time All-American, won the Jim Thorpe Award, and eventually had his #2 jersey retired.  He continued to play as many sports as possible to stay out of trouble with the law.  It was in college that Sanders got the nickname “Prime Time”; and someone told him that he could make a lot of money if he could sell himself to the fans.  Thats when the “high steps” started happening and the on field celebrations started as well.  So he started wearing gold chains, driving an expensive car, and was in front of the camera a lot.  Off the football field he still played baseball and even helped the track and field team win a conference championship.

In 1989 the Atlanta Falcons drafted Sanders with the fifth overall pick.  Sanders ran a 4.2-second 40-yard dash which was one of the fastest times anyone has ever seen.  He was signed to a $4 million contract which made him the highest paid DB in the NFL.  With his first paycheck he bought his mom his mothers dream house that he promised her.  He played for the Falcons until 1993 and during that time he had 24 interceptions and 3 of them were touchdowns.  In his career with the Falcons he got into the end zone ten times (three defensive, three kickoff returns, two punt returns, and two receiving).  During this time he was also playing professional baseball and he became the first player to play in two professional leagues in the same day.  This was when the world really got to see how Prime Time was on and off the field and he quickly became loved and hated at the same time.  he also played for the Yankees at the same time as he played for the Falcons.  After he finished out his contract with the Yankees he signed a game-to-game contract with the Atlanta Braves.  He also started getting a lot of endorsement deals and was constantly on TV.

After 5 seasons in Atlanta, Sanders signed a one year contract with the San Francisco 49ers where he had his best season of his career.  In that one season he had 6 interceptions and 3 of them went for touchdowns.  During his return to Atlanta he intercepted a pass from former teammate Jeff George and returned it 93 yards for a touchdown.  He was voted the 1994 Defensive Player of the Year and recorded an interception in Super Bowl XXIX for a touchdown.  After 6 years he finally earned his first championship ring.  Even after winning a Super Bowl he did not get the emotions that he wanted; it was shrouded with a different emotion with the passing of his father.

After his successful season with the 49ers a lot of teams were interested in signing Sanders.  In week 2 of the 1995 season Sanders decided to sign a $35 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys which made him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL.  The Raiders had offered him more money, but he chose Dallas so he could play offense and defense and he wanted to win more Super Bowls.  During this time he was also playing baseball for the Cincinnati Reds.  He helped take the Cowboys to Super Bowl XXX where the Cowboys won.  He played four more seasons with the Cowboys after that and made the Pro Bowl every all of them.  Sanders also hooked up with MC Hammer and wanted to make it in the music industry and went on tour after he put out his debut album.  While playing for the Reds Sanders was divorced, lost his kids, and depressed.  Sanders had become suicidal and he got in his car and floored it and drove off the road.  He felt that he couldn’t even kill himself because he thought he was a failure.  He asked the Lord to take him, but he felt that he had to make a change.

Sanders started going to bible classes, got re-married, and started finding a relationship with Jesus.  That is when he started becoming a man and not “Prime Time”.  After 5 seasons with the Cowboys he signed a one year contract with the Washington Redskins.  After that season with the Redskins he decided to retire in 2001.  Sanders started doing commentating on Monday Night Football an found that he really enjoyed it.  But in 2004, the Baltimore Ravens lured Sanders out of retirement and played two seasons for the Ravens before retiring again in 2006.  After his second retirement he started working for the NFL Network as an analyst.

Sanders had a great 14-year career that made him one of the most feared defensive backs of all time.  During his NFL career he totaled up 53 interceptions for 1,331 yards, 2,199 punt return yards, 3,523 kickoff return yards, 7,838 all-purpose yards, and scored 22 touchdowns.  He was also selected to 8 Pro Bowls and was the 1994 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. 

For his baseball career he had a batting average of .263, had 558 hits, 39 home runs, and 186 stolen bases.

The NFL has had a lot of changes over the last few decades; but one thing that has remained the same is that every team needs a solid QB.  Without a QB that can throw the ball your team is going to suffer.  Stafford is a very young player that has extreme talent for throwing the football.  I remember watching him in college and now watching him in the NFL is just a treat.  There are few athletes that are living history and Stafford is one of them.  There will come a day when people look back at Staffords career and they will say “I remember that guy being an amazing player”. 

John Matthew Stafford was born on February 7th, 1988 in Tampa, Florida.  His family ended up moving to Dallas, Texas where Stafford played at Highland Park High School where he excelled at baseball and football.  By the time he was ready to graduate high school he was considered to be one of the best QBs coming out of high school.  He was even ranked above Tim Tebow.  His junior year of football was pretty dismal so he quit baseball so he could just focus on football.  In his senior year he led his team to a 15-0 record and won the Texas 4A Division I Championship.  In his senior year he threw for over 4,000 yards and he was ranked to be a highly recruited player going into college.  Before he even played a single play in college he was predicted to go as the #1 pick in the NFL Draft.

Stafford decided to go to the University of Georgia and he was the first true freshman QB to start since 1998.  It was kind of a bumpy season for Stafford but he still managed 1,749 yards and 7 touchdowns.  His sophomore season saw a nice improvement as he led the Bulldogs to the 2008 Sugar Bowl and won.  By the end of the season he totaled up 2,523 yards and 19 touchdowns.  Going into his junior year the Bulldogs were ranked #1 in the country and Stafford was chosen as one of the Heisman favorites for the year.  He led the Bulldogs to the 2009 Capital Bowl and Stafford won the MVP of the game.  By seasons end Stafford had 3,459 yards and 25 touchdowns.  He decided to forgo his senior year to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. 

Just as predicted 3 years earlier; Stafford was drafted as the #1 overall pick by the Detroit Lions.  The Lions gave him a contract worth $41.7 million over 6 years of guaranteed money and he can earn up to $78 million.  The Lions started Stafford right away since the Lions were moving more in the direction of being a passing team.  His rookie season had some ups and downs and he ended up having 2,267 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Now, you have to remember that Stafford missed some games due to injury and the Lions had a pretty banged up offensive line.  Stafford sat out the majority of the 2010 season due to a shoulder injury that had to be repaired. 

Coming into the 2011 season people had very high hopes for Stafford.  Stafford was lighting up the scoreboard in the first few games and was showing people why he was the #1 draft pick.  In the first two games he threw 7 touchdowns and found a tight connection to Calvin Johnson.  During the remainder of the season Stafford kept on impressing and he became only the 4th player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season.  In the final four games of the season Stafford threw over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns.  He led the Lions to a 10-6 record which gave them a playoff berth; which was the first time the Lions went to the playoffs since 1999.  By the end fo the season Stafford had 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns which earned him the 2011 Comeback Player of the Year.

The 2012 season was full of setbacks and people were expecting Stafford to put up similar numbers as he did the previous year.  Combined with a poor running game and some injuries on the offensive line; Stafford was not able to get into the same groove as he did in 2011.  By the end of the 2012 season he had 20 touchdowns; which was a huge fall compared to the 41 he had the season before.  He also had the worst QB rating of his young career (79.8).  When 2013 came around the Lions offered him a 3 year contract extension worth at least $41.5 million.

So far in his young career Stafford has 12,807 passing yards and 80 touchdown passes.  He holds a few NFl records such as; Most passing TDs in a single game by a rookie (5); youngest QB to throw 5 TDs in a single game; most consecutive 350+ yards passing games; and a few more.  He also already holds a handful of franchise records with the Lions.

  • Highest Passer Rating in a Single Season – 97.2 (2011)
  • Most Passing Yards in a Single Season: 5,038 (2011)
  • Most Passing Yards in a Game: 520
  • Most 4,000 passing yard seasons, career – 2
  • Most consecutive seasons, 4,000 yards passing – 2
  • Most 400+ Yards Passing Games, Career: 5 (2009-2012)
  • Most 300+ Yards Passing Games, Career: 17 (2009-2012)
  • Most 300+ Yards Passing Games: 8 (2011 and 2012)
  • Most Games 1+ TD Passes, Season: 16 (2011)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns in a Single Season: 41 (2011)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns in a Game: 5
  • Most Passing Attempts in a Single Season: 727 (2012)
  • Most Passing Attempts in a Game: 63
  • Most Career Pass Completions – 1,114 (2009-2012)
  • Most Passing Completions in a Single Season: 435 (2012)
  • Highest Completion Percentage in a Single Season by Starting QB: 63.5 (2011) (16 starts)
  • Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins, Career: 8
  • Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins in Single Season: 3 (2011) (tied with 4 others)
  • Most Game Winning Drives, Career: 9

 

 

 

There are only a few linebackers who are extremely feared in the NFL; Clay Matthews is one of them.  He has only been in the league a handful of years, but he is already considered to be one of the bests in the league.  Not only is he an incredible pass rusher; he is also very popular among fans around the league.  Even if you are not a Packers fan, you still find yourself liking to watch Matthews.  He is know for being very athletic, strong, and quick.  Not to mention his “flex” when he sacks an opposing quarterback. 

William Clay Matthews III was born on May 14th, 1986 in Northridge California.  Believe it or not; Matthews was not the biggest guy in high school.  He attended Agoura High School and he played on the football team where his father was the defensive coordinator.  His father refused to play his son because of how small he was at the time.  In his senior year of high school he really began to gain strength and size, but because he did not play much high school football there were no school really interested in Matthews.  He decided that he would walk onto the USC Trojans football team and take his chances there.

He made the Trojan football team and his first year at college he never actually got to play; he was on the scout team.  The coaches tried to put Matthews in during “garbage time” in some games.  Garbage time is where USC was winning by so much that they would pretty much put anyone into the game to give them playing time.  Matthews turned down the offer to play during the garbage time.  In 2005 he got to play on special teams for the Trojans.  For the next two seasons he only got to play on special teams and even the small amount of time he played he made a big impact by blocking field goals and making tackles. 

It was in 2008 that Matthews really dedicated himself to the gym to be able to start for the Trojans.  The coaches for USC decided to try Matthews in a defensive position called “Elephant”; where he would line up as a defensive end, but would be in a two point stance so he could utilize his speed.  He did very well in that position and recorded 4.5 sacks his senior year.  He still played on special teams and was able to showcase his speed and tackling abilities.

Even with only limited college experience, Matthews still was invited to attend the 2009 NFL Combine where he dazzled NFL teams with his size, strength, and speed.  He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round (26th overall pick) in the 2009 draft.  That same year the Packers hired former NFL great Kevin Greene to help coach the linebackers for the Packers.  Matthews made an immediate impression as a rookie by being a sack machine and made a name for himself by forcing fumbles and actually scored a touchdown on a Monday Night game where he stripped the ball away from Adrian Peterson and ran for a touchdown.  As a rookie he recorded 51 tackles, 10 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries.  He also led the Packers in QB Pressures with 45.5 and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year award.

Since his rookie year opposing defenses have tried to figure out how to contain Matthews and there has been little success.  The 2010 season the Packers went to the Super Bowl and in that season Matthews racked up 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and recorded his first interception.  In the post season Matthews was one of the big reasons why the Packers went to the Super Bowl.  Even in the Super Bowl Matthews forced a game changing turnover that sealed a Championship for the Packers.

In 2011 Matthews recorded 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 50 tackles, and 6 sacks.  Even though his numbers were lower for the 2011 season; it was crazy to see the amount of times that he was double teamed and even triple teamed.  Matthews did show an improvement in his pass coverage abilities which helped the Packers be one of the most dominant defenses of that season.   Even with all the extra attention from opposing teams he still managed to be one of the best linebackers of the 2011 season.

In the 2012 season it was much of the same where teams would double team Matthews to try and contain him.  He still was able to record 43 tackles, 13 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.  He helped the Packers get to the NFC Divisional Championship game where they lost to the 49ers; but Matthews showed that he can lead a team on and off the field.  He may not have posted the biggest numbers of his career, but he did help ignite a defense that was struggling in numerous areas.

So far in Matthews short career he has totaled up 204 tackles, 42.5 sacks, 154 QB Pressures, 4 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 22 pass deflections, and 7 forced fumbles.  He has made the NFL Pro Bowl every year he has been in the NFL and been named to the All-Pro team 2 times.  He already has a Super Bowl ring, was the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, 2010 NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and won the 2010 Butkus Award.  Matthews still has a long career ahead of him and he will continue to be a dominant presence on the field.

Vernon Davis is a different breed of tight end then you would expect.  He has the size of a linebacker, but the speed of a wide receiver.  The tight end position used to be more of a blocking position, but recently tight ends are being used more as receivers since they are getting faster.  Davis has turned the tight end position into a perfect balance of power blocking and incredible hands.  He may not post the highest stats of NFL tight ends, but he is always a huge factor in every game that he plays in.

Vernon Leonard Davis was born on January 31st, 1984 in Washington D.C.  At a very young age Davis was a gifted athlete.  In junior high he was very involved in football and track and field.  He was ranked as one of the best tight ends by Rivals.com and recorded school records in the high jump and the 100-meter dash.  He was team mates with Joshua Cribbs who is now on the Oakland Raiders as a kick returner.

David attended Dunbar High School and was a stand out football player and continued in track and field.  He was ranked as the #4 tight end in the country and was highly sought after going into college.  As a football player he played tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, defensive end, and a kick returner.  In high school he was named to the All-USA team, played in the US Army All-American Bowl, and was Gatorade Player of the Year.  Davis was one of the most versatile players in the country and was ranked #3 by ESPN.

Davis decided to attend the University of Maryland and he was a studio art major.  As a true freshman he played in every game and played offense and defense.  In 2004, Maryland had him play exclusively on offense and was second on the team with 27 receptions and 3 touchdowns.  In 2005 he made the All-American team and was a finalist for the Mackey Award.  He led the team with 51 receptions for 871 yards and 6 touchdowns and was ranked as one of the best blocking college players in the country.  So to NFL teams; he was the full package with size, strength, and speed.  In college Davis was always in the weight room and set numerous school strength records.  Davis benched 465 pounds, power cleaned 355 pounds, and squat 685 pounds.

In the 2006 Draft Davis was selected by the 49ers in the first round with the 6th overall pick.  As a rookie his first NFL catch was a 31 yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals.  His rookie year was cut short by an injury to his fibula but he made a big enough impact to be recognized as a dominant tight end.  It was in 2009 when Davis really broke out as a super star when he hauled in 78 receptions for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Due to his amazing season the 49ers gave Davis a five-year $37 million contract making him the highest paid tight end in the NFL.  In 2011 Davis was the main reason the 49ers went to the NFC Championship Game.  In that game Davis had 2 touchdowns and the last one was the game winner. 

Davis was named to the 2009 Pro Bowl and was also named to the NFL Top 100 players three different seasons.  In his career he has hauled in 4,351 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns.  He got the nickname “The Duke” from his father; and the two of them look identical.  Like I said before, Davis may not put up the best stats in the NFL, but he is going to continue to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL.  He is one of the key elements in the 49ers offense and he will be around for a long time.

Brandon Marshall has been one of the most electric receivers in the game since he came to the NFL in 2006.  What makes Marshall different than other receivers is his size.  He has been referred as “a defensive lineman playing receiver”.  And when you look at his size he stands out frm other players which makes him very hard to cover.  He is 6ft 4 inches and 229 pounds; and even with that size he is very quick and strong.

Brandon Marshall was born March 23rd, 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Later in his life he was moved to Florida where he played high school football at Lake Howell High School.  In high school he played both offense and defense and was named to the All-State team.  He also liked playing basketball and excelled in track.  As a senior, Marshall won the Class 3A state triple jump championship by landing a jump of 48-feet, six-and-three-quarter inches.

Brandon decided to play his college ball at the University of Central Florida (UCF).  In college he played in 44 games as a wide receiver and by the time he ended college he wracked up 112 receptions, 1,674 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns.  His best season was in 2005 as a senior where he hauled in 74 receptions, 1,195 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns.  His best college game was in the 2005 Hawaii Bowl where he finished the game with 11 catches for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns.

In the 2006 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos selected Marshall in the fourth round (119th pick).  In his rookie year he was nursing a slight PCL tear in his knee but still played in 15 games.  The next season was a nice breakout for Marshall as he recorded 102 receptions for 1,325 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Since that season Marshall has been a dominating force.  he went 3 consecutive seasons with at least 100 catches and he has had at least 1,000 receiving yards for 6 consecutive seasons.  In 2009 Marshall broke the receptions in a game record which was previously held by Terrell Owens.  Marshall had 21 receptions in a single game, which is still the record today.  Marshall had a few off-field issues, but he was a consistant player for the Broncos so it really surprised me when they traded him to the Dolphins in 2010.

The Dolphins were happy to have Marshall in Miami and quickly signed him to a 4 year, $47.5 million contract.  His first season as a Dolphin was not his best, but that mostly had to do with the QB situation in Miami.  He was still able to catch 86 passes for 1,014 yards and 3 touchdowns.  His second season in Miami was much of the same.  There were mixups at the QB position so it was hard to get Marshall the ball.  He still made the Pro Bowl; and in the Pro Bowl he was the MVP.  I think had the Dolphins had a solid QB to throw to Marshall that he still might be there, but in 2012 he was traded to the Chicago Bears.

The Bears were very excited to have Marshall since they were reuniting him with his former QB, Jay Cutler.  Even with Marshall being the only main weapon in Chicago, Cutler was able to feed him the ball a lot.  He ended his first year with the Bears with 118 receptions, 1,508 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns; all three of those numbers are personal records for Marshall.  Marshall is now entering his second year as a Bear and he has no signs of slowing down.

In his career so far he has totaled up 612 receptions, 7,755 receiving yards, and 45 touchdowns.  He has also been named to 4 Pro Bowls, 2012 Pro Bowl MVP, and was the 2005 Hawaii Bowl MVP.  Marshall has a handful of NFL records as well; such as Most Receptions in a game with 21, most receptions in a 5 game span with 55, and the first player since 1960 to record 8 career games of at least 10 receptions in his first 4 seasons.

It is very rare that a player comes along and immediately is one of the best players in the NFL.  AJ Green is one of those players; he came into the NFL and made a huge impact right away and now he is one of the best receivers in the NFL.  He is now entering his 3rd season and he has already done more than some receivers do in 5 years.  AJ is also a player that you will never hear bad publicity about; he goes on the field and does his job; then goes home with class.  Young players can learn a lot from the way AJ carries himself and his work ethic.

Adriel Jeremiah “AJ” Green was born July 31st, 1988 in South Carolina.  As a young kid AJ got very interested in juggling.  He would practice this almost everyday and could juggle up to 4 items at once.  Later in his life Green attributes his juggling skills as a huge help in his hand-eye coordination in football.  Green attended Summerville High School and was a gifted football player.  In 2008 Green was listed as the #1 national football prospects by Sports Illustrated.  Green was named an All-State athlete four times and USA Today named him as an All-American as a junior in high school.  His first year in high school he hauled in 57 receptions, 1,217 yards, and 8 touchdowns.  In his high school career he wracked up 5,373 receiving yards rank second in the all-time career receiving records of the National Federation of High Schools and his 279 career receptions rank fourth on that same list.  Rivals.com did a few articles on GReen and ranked him as their #9 prospect going into college.

After his brilliant high school career he went to the University of Georgia here he was a perfect weapon for the Bulldogs.  As a Freshman he led the SEC in receiving yards and was named second-team All-SEC.  In his next season he was battling some injuries, but he still played through most of it which just shows his determination.  Green only spent 3 seasons in Georgia, but he totaled up 166 receptions for 2,619 yards, and 23 touchdowns.  He decided to enter the 2011 NFL Draft after his third year.

In the 2011 NFL Draft the Bengals picked Green with the fourth overall pick.  They immediately signed Green to a 4 year deal worth $19.6 million.  Green was immediately a starter for the Bengals and by the end of the season he had 4 games over 100 yards and led all NFL Rookies in receptions and receiving yards.  By the end of the season he broke Chris Collinsworth receiving yards record that Chris set back in 1981.  Collinsworth as a rookie had 1,009 receiving yards; Green ended his rookie year with 1,057 receiving yards.  He also made the Pro Bowl as a rookie which had not been done since Anquan Boldin in 2003.  The 2012 season was brilliant for Green he ended up having 97 receptions for 1,350 yards and 11 receiving touchdowns.  During this season he had a streak of 9 games with a touchdown which is the longest streak by a receiver in the history of the NFL.  Green made his second Pro Bowl; and in the Pro Bowl game he caught 3 touchdown passes.

Green is still a very young player, but he is going to have a very long career.  He has the chance to surpass all receiving records by the time he retires.  He is reliable, consistant, and dependable as a player and jus tas a person.  In his 2 short years so far he has totaled up 162 receptions, 2,407 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns.  He has made 2 Pro Bowls already and was named an All-Pro in 2012.  It is refreshing to see a player like Green on the field today and I hope he sticks around for a long time.