Georgia's Aaron Murray Beats out Johnny Manziel for 1st-Team All-SEC QB

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIAugust 22, 2013

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been thrust into the spotlight this offseason following a sensational Heisman Trophy campaign in his freshman season in College Station.

Perhaps an even more surprising development than his heap of off-field tribulations occurred Thursday.

Manziel wasn't named as a first-team member of the coaches' preseason All-SEC squad. According to a report by's Edward Aschoff, Georgia QB Aaron Murray was rated ahead of Johnny Football.

The blowback from Manziel's antics away from the gridiron since becoming the first freshman to win college football's most coveted individual award has to be contributing to this snub.

Between the scandal where Manziel possibly profited from his own autographs, attending fraternity parties and being constantly in the headlines for better or worse, it's easy to see how coaches may be concerned about his ability to replicate the success he experienced in his first taste of collegiate action.

In the most difficult conference in the nation, Manziel set the SEC record for total offense and scored 47 total touchdowns in his first year as the Aggies' quarterback. As good of a player as Murray is, his production and value to his team isn't quite as significant.

Murray set the Bulldogs' single-season passing yards and touchdowns records last season, per Aschoff. His 10.1 yards per attempt in 2012, which led the FBS, prove that he has all the throws in his arsenal to be a Heisman contender in 2013.

It will be interesting to see, though, how Murray fares without the departed Tavarres King.

The explosive receiver, who was a fifth-round pick of the Denver Broncos, averaged a whopping 22.6 yards per catch in his final year in Athens, leading the Bulldogs with nine touchdown grabs and 42 receptions.

Murray obviously doesn't have the dynamic athletic ability that Manziel does, though, which should have been factored in.

The rising senior wasn't even invited to New York City as a finalist for the Heisman last year. At this stage, Murray's placement ahead of Manziel is at least somewhat dubious.

Manziel might end up using this second-team status as motivation.

While this set of coaches' opinions may not be controversy that Manziel personally generated, it is a consequence of the decisions he's made since his rise to stardom.