Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Murray highlights SCCASB Week Two spotlight




By Michael Foster

Georgia is one of those programs where there are a lot of expectations. Shoot, last year some would say they should have beat Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.  Most of those expectations rest on the arm of their senior quarterback Aaron Murray.  Not only is he on this year’s South Carolina College All Star Bowl Preseason Watch List, he was named to the watch list for the Maxwell, Davey O’ Brien, and Walter Camp Awards.  Some have said, up until now, that maybe Aaron Murray hasn’t always lived up to his lofty expectations (formerly the seventh ranked overall prospect out of Florida).  You can provide stats to reflect that like a 1-9 record against top 15 teams and a 1-6 record against top 10 teams in his career not including the past week.  The fact that he has struggled at times against his biggest rivals (Florida and South Carolina) hasn’t helped that perception. 

This past week’s game against SEC East rival and then number six South Carolina was set up as a make or break game for Georgia and Murray, as they just came off a loss to then  eighth ranked Clemson in week one and had not beaten South Carolina in his career.  This time it would be different “between the hedges” in Sanford Stadium.  The supposed fear of all-world South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney was snuffed out by a superb performance by the senior signal caller.  He went 17 of 23 for 309 yards and four touchdowns, including an 85-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott-Wesley to give Georgia an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter. Maybe more importantly, he didn’t turn the ball over.  Georgia and Murray got the monkey off their back with a 41-30 win that got them back in the discussion for an SEC East title.  His performance was good enough to be named SEC Offensive Player of the Week and CollegeFootballPerformanceAward.com’s National Performer of the Week.  All of a sudden that loss to Clemson doesn’t look so bad.

The Tampa, Florida native is an intriguing NFL prospect.  At 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds, he does not possess ideal size for an NFL prospect, but with smaller quarterbacks having success in the NFL, I don’t think this will be as much of an issue at the next level as it once was.  He throws a good ball, and has proven himself in the best conference in America as a four year starter in the SEC. That being said, he is second on the all-time list for total offense with 10,907 yards in his career at Georgia. He is the only QB in the SEC with more than 3,000 yards passing in his first three years, and he will have an opportunity to make it four this year and become the conference’s leader in all-time passing yardage.  Murray is currently listed as a top 10 quarterback overall prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft according to most draft experts.

Each week the South Carolina College All Star Bowl chooses five players from their watch list who had exceptional performances during the previous week’s college football action.  You can access each week’s profiles on the Players Spotlight section at http://www.sccollegeallstarbowl.com/category-s/1839.htm.  This article highlights one of those players.
*Football Note: The South Carolina College All Star Bowl will be played on March 1, 2014 at Furman University.  Top players from all over the country will be invited to play in front of NFL scouts before the NFL Draft in May.
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Michael Foster is responsible for Football Operations at Wyatt Sports, LLC and coordinates  Scouting for the South Carolina College All Star Bowl.  Michael is originally from the state of Michigan, but has lived with his wife Jody in the Upstate of South Carolina for the past five years.  He has a Business Sports Management degree and has experience in sports media and scouting. You can email Michael at foster@sccasb.com, follow the bowl game on twitter @sccasb, or get more information about the game at www.sccollegeallstarbowl.com.

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