Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is on the verge of smashing the SEC records for passing yards and touchdowns, yet the Bulldogs signal-caller somehow doesn’t get the credit a player of his caliber had earned.
Murray’s 95 career touchdowns put him 19 behind former Florida and Heisman winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel and his 10,091 puts him 1,437 behind former Bulldog David Greene. Murray should pass Greene in the team’s fifth or sixth game and in the process pass luminaries like Eli and Peyton Manning.
When Murray leaves Athens after his fifth year, he will have statistics better than some of the best college quarterbacks in the history of the SEC and college football. But you won’t hear his name mentioned by the national media for the Heisman trophy or from NFL scouts clamoring about Murray being a first round draft pick.
With all due respect to Johnny Manziel and AJ McCarron, I don’t understand for the life of me why Murray continually is the forgotten man in the SEC and in the Heisman conversation. He finished five tenths of a point behind McCarron who led the nation in pass efficiency and his 36 touchdowns were good for fifth in the country. The one statistic that stood out to me was his 10.1 yards per attempt that led the country by nearly a full yard over McCarron and two others.
Statistics are one way to define a player but far from the only way to determine the worth of a player. Murray has drawn the ire from some Georgia fans for his propensity to turn the ball over after he lost AJ Green to the NFL—he threw 14 interceptions in 2011—and his ability to win the big game. He lost his first six games against ranked opponents, lost consecutive SEC Championship games and took three attempts to pick up his first bowl win which brought his record to 3-11 vs. ranked opponents.
This year is a legacy defining season for the fifth-year signal-caller who has the individual accolades of some of the game’s best but none of the conference titles or awards that typically accompany that. The hurdle for Murray undoubtedly is Alabama who kept Georgia five yards shy of the BCS Championship Game last year. But with the Bulldogs having perhaps the best offense in the SEC this year he finally may get over that hump.
With Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett and Arthur Lynch all on the watch lists for their respective positions Murray has the weapons at his disposal to throw for 40 touchdowns and 4,000 yards and win the Heisman.
The individual accolades are one thing, but Murray is the epitome of a leader and would trade all the records for a shot at the BCS Title. This is his best chance at winning the crystal ball, and it will be the final chapter in his illustrious career.
Will Murray go down in the history books as one of the best or will he come a little bit short like his team in 2012?
The final chapter is yet to be written in the college career of Murray, but I think there will be a happy ending for he and Georgia fans come January.