Union’s AJ Green glad to sign with Arkansas

Union’s AJ Green is on the move as Edmpnd Santa Fe’s James Burnett tries to tackle him during the 6A Division I semifinal game at Owasso on Nov. 28. Green signed Wednesday to play football at the University of Arkansas.Ian Maule, Tulsa World

AJ Green sifted through an impressive array of scholarship offers before giving a verbal commitment to the University of Arkansas in June.

The Union running back lived up to his pledge Wednesday, first day of the early-signing period for football. He said it was good to have his name on the dotted line.

“I’m glad it’s officially over,” he said. “Basically, you’re not a Razorback until you sign the paper.”

Green said he liked everything about the SEC school, especially head coach Sam Pittman and his staff.

“They have energy and bring a lot of excitement,” he said. “They crack jokes and even make phone calls fun. They keep the environment positive.”

Green signed at home Wednesday because a scheduled ceremony at the high school was cancelled due to the threat of more wintry weather. But he said he planned to participate in a February school ceremony for signees.

“AJ has been a great athlete for Union High School track and football for three or four years,” Union football coach Kirk Fridrich said. “It’s exciting to see him have an opportunity to keep playing and continue his education at Arkansas.”

Green rushed for 2,304 yards and 23 TDs over three seasons and saved his best for last. In a seven-game span of 2020, he rushed for 1,034 yards, helping his team rebound from an 0-4 start to reach the 6A Division I semifinals.

“Nobody wants to start 0-4, but we kept pushing and came together and played as hard as we ever have, so it was a very good season for us,” he said.

Green is preparing for his final Union track season and may try to participate in the sport at Arkansas.

As a Union sophomore in 2019, he had one of the state’s fastest times in the 100 meters, but pulled his hamstring while winning the regional title in the event and wasn’t able to participate in the state track meet.