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The Oklahoman’s Super 30: Versatility carried Arkansas commit AJ Green to stardom at Tulsa Union

Tulsa Union's AJ Green (20) is No. 3 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2021 class. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Tulsa Union's AJ Green (20) is No. 3 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2021 class. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

TULSA — AJ Green wasn’t afraid to stand out.

Early on during his freshman season at Tulsa Union, coach Kirk Fridrich knew Green would be the next star football player in a long line of talented ones to come from the south Tulsa powerhouse.

He played multiple positions: running back, wide receiver, defensive back. He was a leader, both on the field and off. He battled through injuries and seemed to get better every game he continued learning the system.

Fridrich couldn’t wait until he grew more into his body.

“There was just something about him early on,” Fridrich said. “He had the drive from the beginning, and he was committed to getting better every day.”

And get better he did.

Green got quicker and stronger, becoming one of the top athletes in the state. His junior season, he battled injuries but broke out as a running back, and numerous colleges took notice.

He didn’t waste too much time finding where he wanted to play next year, though, as Green committed to Arkansas on June 12 over offers from his top eight: Baylor, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, South Carolina and Texas Tech.

Green is No. 3 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 rankings of the state’s top high school recruits in the 2021 class.

His decision to choose Arkansas, a rebuilding SEC program over the likes of the defending national champions or other schools didn’t surprise Fridrich.

“He’s really his own man,” Fridrich said. “He’s more of a guy who makes decisions based off what’s best for him.The recruiting he went through is true to that.”

Fridrich said it’s nice having a player like Green, one who’s humble enough to realize his talent while not boasting about it to others.

He keeps his head down and works.

Green’s combination of speed and strength is unique. He’s arguably the fastest player in the state. If he gets out in space, he’s going to end up in the end zone.

But his athleticism doesn’t stop there. His vision allows him to find creases in defenses and agility allows him to cut to those spaces.

If there isn’t a hole, he’s able to run over defenders, something Green can do just as well as running past defenders.

That combination is why he was one of the most sought-after prospects in this year’s recruiting class. It’s also why Fridrich is excited for the potential he has this season.

“We’re going to be able to use him in so many different ways,” Fridrich said. “When you have someone like that, it helps tremendously.”

***

The Oklahoman’s 2021 Super 30

Name: AJ Green

School: Tulsa Union

Super 30 ranking: No. 3

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 195 pounds

Position: Running back

Committed to: Arkansas

About the Series

The Oklahoman’s Super 30 feature series will spotlight each high school football player on the Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2020 class. The series continued Friday with No. 3, Tulsa Union’s AJ Green. See No. 2 on the list in Saturday’s editions of The Oklahoman. Here are the last five players we’ve featured:

No. 7: Bryce Stephens, WR/DB, John Marshall

No. 6: Javion Hunt, RB, Carl Albert

No. 5: Ty Williams, DB, Muskogee

No. 4: Collin Oliver, LB, Edmond Santa Fe

No. 3: AJ Green, RB, Tulsa Union

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›

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