Paul Dehner Jr. reports:
A.J. Green never attended the camp of a famous athlete growing up. Few professional players were crossing the foothills of South Carolina catering to elementary school kids.
Instead, Green spent his time riding dirt bikes and concerned about everything but sports.
So, the Bengals receiver couldn’t help but laugh at the constant stares and gawking given by the 300-plus children ages 7-14 that graced his Inaugural A.J. Green Football ProCamp at Mason Middle School on Wednesday.
“It’s crazy, man,” Green said. “They just be looking at me and smiling the whole time.”
Not a surprising reaction from his young fans, but unique for Green given his humble personality and view on his own success.
“One thing is I’m not a superstar,” said Green, who caught 162 passes for 2,407 yards and 18 touchdowns in his first two seasons. “I’m just a regular guy who plays football.”
Wednesday he blended in throwing passes and joking around with campers. The camp continues through Thursday. Green kept his message simple with the kids he spoke to and it had little to do with specific football skills.
“Just have fun out here,” he said. “At this age you have no worries in life, so enjoy it.”
Taking two days out of his schedule to enjoy it felt like a no-brainer for Green, who will report along with the rest of the Bengals next week with the first training camp practice July 25.
“I love giving back,” Green said. “No matter what, I didn’t have this growing up so it’s always a privilege to come out here to help other kids who are not as fortunate.”
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