Georgia Bulldogs: Aaron Murray is the Second Coming of Peyton Manning

By M. Shannon Smallwood
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports — Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Yes folks…

You did read that headline correctly…

Aaron Murray is without a doubt Peyton Manning 2.0…

Yes, Murray is 6-1, 210 but the 4 inches in height and about 50 pounds in weight is the only difference between these two SEC Stars.

Don’t agree…

Think about these statements made over the years…

(FILL IN THE BLANK) can’t win the big game.

(FILL IN THE BLANK) makes too many mistakes.

(FILL IN THE BLANK) makes poor decisions in big games.

Starting to buy into it now aren’t you…

Yes, Manning was ripped to shreds by his fan base in the middle 1990s for being an exceptional talent with a Hall of Fame Pedigree but a guy who simply could not win the big game.

A tag that followed him well into his NFL career too…

And everyone knows the glass house that Murry has lived in while the head man leading the Georgia Bulldogs.

Most of Bulldog Nation is jumping for joy at the fact Murray is rumored to be heading to the NFL Draft following the Capital One Bowl.

For the record Manning was projected to be the top pick after his junior season but chose to comeback for his senior season and finally got that elusive SEC Championship.

But even with all of the personal similarities, the real proof is in the stats between Murray and Manning…

Through his first three Seasons Manning was 576 for 904 for 7382 yards which is a 63.3 completion %. He tossed 53 touchdowns and threw 22 picks and had a QB Rating of 146.5. Manning was 29-7 during those three years.

And now for Murray…

You ready…

Murray is 660 for 1039 for 9399 yards which is a 62.3 completion %. He has tossed 83 touchdowns against 29 picks and has a QB ranking of 157.8. Murray is 27-13 and has played four more games.

Here is the full break down…

Payton Manning
Tennessee Volunteers

Season Completed Attended Yards % TD INT QB Rating Rushing ATT Rushing Yards TD Wins Losses
1994 89 144 1141 61.8 11 6 145.2 21 -28 0 8 4
1995 244 380 2954 62.2 22 4 146.5 41 6 0 10 2
1996 243 380 3287 60.3 20 12 147.4 42 -131 0 11 1
3 Year Totals 576 904 7382 63.3 53 22 146.5 104 -153 0 29 7
1997 287 477 3819 60.2 36 11 147.7 49 30 0 11 2
Career Totals 863 1381 11201 62.5 89 33 147.1 153 -123 0 40 9


Aaron Murray
Georgia Bulldogs

Season Completed ATT Yards % TD INT QB Rating Rushing ATT Rushing Yards TD Wins Losses
2010 209 342 3049 61.1 24 8 154.4 87 167 4 6 7
2011 238 403 3149 59.1 35 14 146.4 87 111 2 10 4
2012 213 320 3201 66.7 30 7 174.2 51 -59 3 11 2
Career 660 1065 9399 62.3 89 29 157.8 225 207 9 27 13


So there you have it folks…

From a stats standpoint or a results standpoint, Murray is Manning 2.0.

Right down to the sleepless nights and tireless study to perfect their craft as QB.

Now time will only tell to what Murray’s future holds, he is on the right path.

And now one can see why Tony Dungy and Chris Mortensen hold Murray in high praise.

This is Dungy’s conversation about Murray with Dan Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show

“I think if Aaron comes out, he’s a franchise quarterback,” Dungy said when Patrick pinned him down on the subject. “You get a chance to draft a guy and put him in place. And the Chiefs have some play-makers. . . .”

Patrick interrupted Dungy mid-sentence to have him clarify that he thought Murray is “a franchise quarterback.”

“I do,” he said, “because I know him.”

Dungy’s son, Eric Dungy, played with Murray and Plant High in Tampa. Eric Dungy now is a sophomore wide receiver at Oregon.

“So I know the type of worker he is,” Dungy said. “He’d pick my son up in the mornings and go throw, really early Saturday or Sunday mornings. He’s been that way his whole life, just like Peyton.”

Again, Patrick pressed Dungy.

“So you’d take him over Matt Barkley?”

“I’d take Aaron Murray,” Dungy said.

“Geno Smith?”

“I’d take Aaron Murray,” Dungy reiterated.

So who would he take if he had the No. 1 overall pick, Patrick finally asked.

“I would take Aaron Murray,” Dungy said without hesitation.

Add that to Mortensen stating Murray has the best QB and the only one that could make every throw at the Manning Passing Academy this past summer just adds more validity to this comparison.

Take it for what you want and believe what you may, but when you look at the stats and you hear a guy who coached Manning and another who has been around him his whole career say Murray is an elite talent, you have to believe…

If you still need more proof, then let’s get Steve Spurrier on the horn because he is kryptonite to both…

Take all that and based on the numbers, Murray definitely seems to be on the right path…

And boy oh boy what a great path Manning has created for Murray to follow.


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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