In 2009, one of UGA's top recruiting priorities was the quarterback position. That year, according to Scout.com, UGA landed the 3rd and 14th overall ranked QB recruits in Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. With Joe Cox scheduled to graduate at the end of the 2009 season, UGA was unsure if it would be Murray or Mettenberger as the future Georgia QB.
The first time UGA fans saw either one of these players on the field was the annual UGA Spring game on April 11th, 2009. Neither were named starters at the time and neither were too impressive. According to accessnorthga.com, Mettenberger was 0-for-3 with an interception while Murray threw for 62 yards on 3-for-5 passing.
In 2010, the UGA spring game would look differently. That year, the two redshirt freshmen were competing for the starting job against Logan Gray and it looked like UGA may have found their man.
Mettenberger was 6-of-10 passing for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Murray threw for 96 yards, was 10-of-22, and had one pick. At this point, it seemed pretty clear who the better quarterback would be for UGA's future.
Of the two, Murray was the higher-touted recruit, but Mettenberger had the more prototypical size at 6'5", 222 lbs. and the better looking statistics. This was a battle for the future starting job that fans couldn't wait to see.
That is, until Mettenberger was kicked off the team in April 2010. His dismissal stemmed from an arrest in March 2010 relating to several charges that violated team rules. The quarterback competition between the two freshmen was over and sadly Mettenberger would never play a down in a UGA uniform.
Two years ago, Mettenberger transferred to Butler, KS Junior College where he led them to an 11-1 season throwing for an impressive 2,678 yards, 32 TDs and only four INTs. This year, he will be the starting QB for LSU who is ranked No. 1 in the Coaches Poll and No. 3 in the AP Poll. Meanwhile, his former competition has been starting for UGA the past two seasons and has amassed some impressive statistics.
Murray's Lofty Goals
Aaron Murray's statistics have been impressive up to this point. He threw for 3,049 yards in 2010, while tossing 24 TDs and only eight INTs, leading UGA to a 6-7 record. Last year, Murray threw for 3,149 yards and 35 TD passes for a UGA single-season record.
UGA's record was 10-4 with losses to Boise State, South Carolina, LSU, and Michigan State. This year, Murray's goals are lofty but he feels they are attainable. Murray wants to achieve a completion rate of 70 percent and score, "40, 50 or 60 points in games instead of winning 10-0."
Murray stated his main goal is "to win games. I want to lead this team to the SEC championship, I want to lead this team to a national championship..."
The Ultimate Winner
Both quarterbacks have taken different paths to get to where they are now. They both start for SEC teams that are in the top 10. They both have a very good chance to meet on Dec. 1st this year in Atlanta.
One is a Bulldog while one is a Tiger, but they will be competing for something bigger than playing time—an SEC Championship and a likely trip to the national championship game.
We will never know who would have been UGA's starting QB between the two. We will however, find out who the better QB is on December 1st, determining the ultimate winner.