NFL standout A.J. Green returns home

By Stefanie

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- During his bye week, NFL standout and local football hero A.J. Green returned home to Ridgeville Saturday,{} for a homecoming celebration in his honor.

The Summerville High School graduate has taken the NFL world by storm. The{}Cincinnati Bengal rookie wide receiver has 29 catches for 453 yards and{}four touchdowns{}already this{}season.

"I'm having a great year. I just started the season...I just gotta keep working and get better," Green said.

Friends, family and even his former Summerville High school coach couldn't agree more. On Saturday, surrounded by hundreds of fans -- Green was given a warm welcome back to his hometown of Ridgeville.

"He's one of the best all around athletes we've ever had," said Summerville High School football Coach John McKissick. "We're all Bengal fans now rooting for him. He deserves everything he's got because he's got great character and everything's great about him."

Green says he's touched by the strong support he has back home.

"I've really never heard anyone talk about me like this with me present. It's always humbling and a great experience," he said.

Green{}told the crowd in the packed{}gymnasium{}about his new life as a professional athlete; a world away from{}the small town he calls home.

"The NFL is a little faster and a little more competitive. People are playing to put food on the table, so it's a little different," Green said.

But{}with all his success, Green is showing{}no signs of slowing down.

"I want to be the best receiver I can be. I don't want to be an ordinary receiver," Green said. "I want to be one of the best and I think that's what motivates me."

Desire to be the best{}and his parents -- Woodrow and Dora Green.

"He's getting older, he's growing up, but he's still humble, same humble person. Just like I tell him, you got to grow, but don't ever change," said A.J.'s mother, Dora Green.

After countless games and standout seasons at Summerville High and between the hedges at the University of Georgia, this proud mother still gets amped up for every Sunday.

"I'm like yeah, that's my son, yeah I'll be yelling and screaming. It's awesome, awesome," said Dora Green.

And despite a lucrative contract, a budding career, and a new life in the big city, it's clear, to this Lowcountry native, there's no place like home.

Green heads back to Cincinnati Saturday night. You can catch him next Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Seattle Seahawks in week 8 of the NFL season.

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