Georgia Bulldogs star quarterback Aaron Murray has been one of the best to take to the field in Athens and his impact on the program is without question. It’s always unfortunate when a star player’s career is sidelined by an ACL injury, but in Murray’s case, it was even more unfortunate given the circumstances. Murray will miss the remainder of his senior season after tearing his ACL — for which he is having surgery this coming Tuesday — and some talk has already begun regarding how the injury will affect his NFL Draft stock and professional career.
I won’t wager a guess on his NFL Draft stock, that’s not an easy one to tackle, but I will venture this:
Aaron Murray’s no stranger to adversity, and if his past is any indication of his future, things will be just fine.
The 6’1″, 207 pound Tampa, Florida native is one of the most prolific passers in the history of not only Georgia football, but the SEC as a whole. On October 19th, Murray became the all-time leading passer in SEC history, jumping Florida Gators legend Tim Tebow and solidifying his place in the record books as one of the South’s greatest ever.
For Murray, it’s been one test of bad luck after the next. He’s thrown some interceptions at times when his team needed him most. There’s been some questionable decisions on his part in big games and big moments. The Bulldogs have struggled in 2013 when many thought they would be among the nation’s elite. In each instance, however, Murray has handled these adversities with grace and dignity, not only in the public face he portrays to the media, but by all accounts in the locker room where he is a respected and trusted leader of a program that always seems to be hanging in the balance between true, national-level success and falling into the middle of the pack in the toughest football conference in the country.
Sure, on the surface, an ACL injury could hurt the draft stock of a guy like Murray who isn’t Tajh Boyd, Teddy Bridgewater, or the other can’t miss prospects in the talent-heavy 2014 Draft class. Facts are, though, Aaron Murray has grit, and as we’ve seen time and again, grit can be just as valuable as talent.
The moral of the story is this:
Go on and bet against Aaron Murray if that’s what you’d like to do, but I won’t.
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer, Business Analyst and College Content Coordinator for Rant Sports.