He's cool, he's content, he's humble, and my god, he's a freshman. His name is Aaron Murray, and he's got this.
In about three weeks, we will see if the boy they call Aaron really "has this" and become the man they call Aaron.
Murray is set to take the reigns of the Bulldog offense from Joe Cox and make it his. Mark Richt has praised this kid since the beginning and now Bulldog fans everywhere are starting to believe in the dream.
A dream that a freshman quarterback can come in and lead the team to the SEC promise land after such a rough 2009 season. To get there though, he has to surpass some pretty steep obstacles in the hellish land of the SEC East.
The Bulldogs have a tough schedule every year playing in the SEC, but will we really get to see what this kid is made of in the first three games.
The Bulldogs open this year at home with I guess you could say a "practice game" against Louisiana-Lafayette, which shouldn't be too much trouble, they then travel up to Columbia to face the Gamecocks, and then return home to face Ryan Mallet and the Razorbacks.
Those two games in particular should show us pretty much how UGA's season will go, as the Gamecocks always put up a fight against the Bulldogs, and Ryan Mallet will lead maybe the most explosive offense in the SEC into Athens. But in the end, I think they survive as Murray won't have as hard of time as many think he will this season and here's why.
The Bulldogs return 10 of 11 starters on offense this year with Murray being the odd man out of course. As we saw last year, Joe Cox didn't use all the guys around him like he should have but I think Murray has already gotten the memo.
Being the starting quarterback for Georgia, he gets a luxury that coaches and quarterbacks dream about and that is A.J. Green.
Green may be the most talented player in the country and is definitely one of the top three wide receivers in the country. Most freshman quarterbacks don't ever have a player like A.J. Green to throw to and this should help in Murray's transition to the college game.
At a recent practice, Murray was spotted sporting a black eye and when confronted by Marc Weizer of the Athens Banner Herald he had this to say, "I think I could be blind and still throw it up and A.J. would catch it." He probably could, so at least Murray realizes what he has in receiver A.J. Green.
And then we have the 3-4 scheme, and I'm not talking about Grantham's defense, I'm talking about the running back duo of Washuan Ealey and Caleb King. When you have two guys to hand the ball off to like this, it just makes life for Aaron Murray that much easier.
The Ealey and King tandem exploded towards the end of season when Mark Richt lifted Ealey's red shirt and let him play. The two backs feed off each other's energy making an explosive running game with their best game coming against Georgia Tech rushing for a combined 339 yards. And throughout the off-season they have continued to become more familiar with one another's running style and will only get better from here on out.
But the most important tool for a quarterback has to be his offensive line, and the Bulldogs have a strong and experienced one.
The Bulldogs return all five of their starting offensive lineman who all have experience with four being seniors and one junior. Also returning is Trinton Sturdivant, who suffered season-ending knee injury in last year's opener against Oklahoma State, and if he stays healthy he can be a big help.
All in all, I see Aaron Murray having a successful year at Georgia, not a Heisman winning season, but a successful one. This kid has all the tools to be a big time quarterback. He's smart, understands how to run a offense,and although he may not have the best arm strength in the world, he is one of the most accurate.
Most importantly he knows how to be a leader and his teammates see it. In an interview with ESPN's Chris Low, Demarcus Dobbs had this to say about Murray:
“The thing about Aaron is that he looks like he belongs out there in everything he does, and that’s the way he plays. He’s been doing it all summer. He’s been the guy who calls 11 on 11s, calls team meetings, and he’s stepped up and done it on the field, too."
In the end, I believe the Bulldogs can and will make a run in the SEC and reclaim the Eastern Division and meet Alabama in the Georgia Dome. It should be a special season for freshman Aaron Murray and the Dawgs.
In the end, I believe the Bulldogs can and will make a run in the SEC and reclaim the Eastern Division and meet Alabama in the Georgia Dome.
It should be a special season for freshman Aaron Murray and the Dawgs.