Published March 14, 2011 - 4:33am
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Saturday Down South is continually counting down the top 20 players in the SEC for 2011 – pre-season style!
Aaron Murray – No. 11
Georgia had a void at quarterback entering the 2010 season, and it was Aaron Murray’s job to lose. Murray backed up Joe Cox in 2009, which was his true freshman year. So, after a redshirt, it looked as if Murray was primed and ready to rock in the red and black.
At times, Murray looked brilliant with his strong arm, headsy play and escapability, but other times he looked like a normal freshman – which is expected. When his footwork is sloppy, his passes get sloppy as well.
The offense was up and down for most of the year. However, the problem with Georgia was not really on offense; the defense couldn’t get it done when they needed to.
Just to put 2010 into perspective of what Murray accomplished, let’s look at his stats versus Matt Stafford’s sophomore stats, after they both had a year to learn the system.
In 2010, Murray completed 209 passes out of 342 attempts, which was good for a 61.1 completion percentage. His quarterback efficiency was 154.48. Murray threw 24 touchdowns and threw over 3,000 yards, with only eight interceptions – all in just his first year in the SEC. That’s big time if you ask me.
On the other hand in 2007, Matthew Stafford’s sophomore season pales in comparison. Stafford completed 194 passes out of 348 attempts, which was good for a 55.7 completion percentage. His quarterback efficiency was 128.92. Stafford threw 19 touchdowns and threw for 2,523 yards, with 10 interceptions.
Matthew Stafford not good enough? Let’s try Peyton Manning’s junior year at Tennessee. Manning threw for 3,287 yards, 20 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and had a 63.7 completion percentage.
As you can see, Murray had a better year than Stafford, and just as good of a three-year-Manning at Tennessee.
In a league that is battling growing pains and quarterback turnover, Georgia has their guy for the next three years. Aaron Murray has tremendous upside, but it will be a battle finding playmakers to help share that load on offense. With two years of learning the system and a year of growing on the field, I look for Aaron Murray to be one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC in 2011. I expect things to come to Aaron Murray much quicker than his freshman year.