|Friday, February 19, 2016 8:05 AM- -|
T.J. Green turned a solid junior campaign into an invite to next week’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and Green has spent his time since the loss to Alabama in the title juggling his preparation for the Combine with thoughts about his Clemson career.
Green started all 15 games last season and was second on the team in tackles with 95. Following the title game, Green sat down with his family and made the decision to forego his final season of eligibility at Clemson and declare for this spring’s NFL Draft.
Green is one of eight Clemson players invited to the NFL Combine, which will be held February 23-29 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
“Things have been going great. It's a daily grind waking up and working out twice a day,” Green told TigerNet this week. “It's exciting to know that you are going to go prove a lot of people wrong and show everybody your abilities at The Combine.”
Green’s play in the title game came under scrutiny – many said it proved he needed another year in school – but he told TigerNet he understands the criticism.
“To me, it's hard to look at, but at the end of the day, they really don't know what's going on, on the field,” he said. “From the stands, I can understand where they are coming from. It's an emotional game for us as players and emotional game for fans. It really didn't affect me as a person or player, it's just something that comes with the game.”
He then said thinking about the game – and the way the Tigers lost – has been hard to deal with but looking forward to the next chapter in his life has helped him deal with the disappointment.
“It took a while actually for it to set in. It was the way we lost and knowing we were the better team and it was a game we thought we were going to win,” Green said. “But, of course, you have to at some point. Going home, I made my decision. I put everything behind me and started looking forward. I was expecting to get it, but I didn't know for sure. It was an exciting moment for me as a player. It drove me further to go live out my dreams.”
Green and his agents have already been in contact with several NFL teams.
“I've been talking to a bunch of NFL teams and they all ask the same questions. ‘Have you ever been injured? Do you have a girlfriend? Do you have any kids? Have you ever smoked pot?’ I think for me The Combine is really where I shine,” he said. “I think you can't go in being nervous, you have to go in with the most confidence. You have to show the teams that you are the guy for them. You have to have the confidence so you can go in there and shock the world with your athletic ability.”
Having seven other teammates with him in Indianapolis will be nice, but at the end of the day, he knows he will be a one-man team when the lights are on.
“Having them around will be good, but we all have our own thing we have to do,” Green said. “It's really an individual thing. You have to get yourself ready. Of course you cheer on your guys to do the best they can and having them around in the environment helps, but it's you against everybody else at the end of the day.”