When Aaron Murray finishes his career in Athens, he will go down as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in SEC history.
Murray has a shot at finishing first in the SEC in all-time pass completions, touchdowns and yards. The most interesting thing about this is if he does become the all-time SEC passing leader in yards (which is likely going to happen because he only about 600 yards shy of the record), he will surpass another UGA great, David Greene.
Both Murray and Greene had great careers at UGA and fans will always be grateful for what they did on the field.
But if Murray does finally win an SEC title and give the Bulldogs a shot at the national championship, is he better than Greene?
Let’s take a look at how Murray is similar and different to the current SEC all-time passing leader.
One of the things that both players have in common is that they both redshirted their freshman year and benefited from it.
They also were very close not becoming the starting quarterbacks their redshirt freshman seasons.
Greene came from South Gwinnett High School in Snellville, Ga., and had to beat out a few quarterbacks to earn the starting spot before the first game of the 2001 season.
Murray came from Plant High School in Tampa, Fla., and was able to win the job because for Bulldogs and current LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger was kicked off the team.
Both Murray and Greene were high school All-Americans and were considered the best players in their respective states.
When it comes to arm strength, Murray is the one that has the stronger arm.
Murray has made constant deep throws to Michael Bennett, Chris Conley, Tavarres King, A.J. Green and Malcolm Mitchell all throughout his career. His strong arm is the reason he will break quite a few SEC passing records.
Greene was never known for his arm. But he was smart with the football and rarely made mistakes, especially in 2004 when he only threw four interceptions in 299 pass attempts.
Some of Greene’s most memorable throws were no more than 20 yards, but those throws like the game-winning touchdown pass at Tennessee in 2001 or the 2002 touchdown pass to Michael Johnson against Auburn in 2002 will go down as one of the great throws in Bulldogs history.
Both players have won a lot of games in their career, and Murray still has one year to go to add some wins under his belt.
But when it comes to big wins, Greene has this title.
Not only did Greene lead the Bulldogs to an SEC title in 2002, but also that team won the Sugar Bowl.
Greene also won three of four bowl games and won a total of 42 games which was a NCAA record at the time.
Murray has yet to win an SEC title, but like Greene, he has been to the SEC title game twice.
Murray also has a 1-2 bowl record and has won 28 games as a starter.
But the one edge Murray has on Green is the Florida record. Murray is 2-1 against the Gators while Greene is 1-3.
One of the key qualities to be a great quarterback in the SEC is to be a great leader.
Both Murray and Greene took their lumps as freshmen, but both also grew into the position and players respected them for it.
When it comes to who’s a better leader, it could really go either way.
Greene won 42 games because no matter how bad it got for the Bulldogs he always found a way to get them back in the game and come away with a win.
While Murray will likely not win as many games as Greene and has not showed a time where he carried the team on his back for a big win, he has gotten better each year and 2013 could be the season where he becomes that guy that can come through when the teams needs him.
What it comes down to is this. Both Greene and Murray are very much alike. They both are great leaders, they won a lot of games and they will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in SEC history.
There are some differences as Greene has led the Bulldogs to an SEC championship as well as a BCS victory. Greene also won 42 games and only threw 32 interceptions in four seasons.
Murray has already thrown 32 picks in three seasons and has won 28 games during that span.
Also, despite leading the Bulldogs to back-to-back SEC East titles, Murray is still looking to win his first SEC championship.
However, Murray has already thrown 95 touchdowns compared to Greene’s 72 and is also on pace to break the SEC passing touchdown record and passing yards record which is currently held by Greene.
So the one question that remains is who would you prefer, Murray or Greene?