SDS’ top 25 players of 2012: No. 5 Aaron Murray

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SDS is continually counting down the top 25 players in the SEC for 2012, and we’re not stopping until we get to that sexy No. 1. We don’t just rank stats or project players at the next level based on athletic superiority, but we rank players based on the season they had in 2012. I know you’ll agree with every single one…

No. 5 – Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia

2012 stats: 249 of 386 for 3,893 yards, 36 touchdowns and 10 INTs

Why he’s worthy: Outside of Johnny Manziel, Georgia’s Aaron Murray was the most explosive offensive player in the SEC. Armed with a Howitzer for a right arm and multiple weapons at his disposal, Murray led the SEC with nearly 4,000 yards passing in 2012 and completed nearly 65 percent of his attempts.

Murray ultimately fell five yards short of an SEC Championship and a national championship berth, but that was just added fuel to the fire to return for his senior season.

NFL scouts will say he’s too short, and college fans will say he can’t win the big game, but Murray is set to break nearly every single SEC passing record in 2013 except interceptions.

He threw for more than 250 yards in nine games and threw for three or more touchdowns in seven.

Murray has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back SEC East titles and notched his first 12-win season in 2012. He broke David Greene’s career passing touchdown record of 72 against Kentucky, and he finished totaling 95 in three years. And he only trails Danny Wuerffel’s 114 passing touchdown record to set the all-time SEC mark. Murray only lacks 19 scoring tosses to catch the former Florida star.

Georgia’s offense reached new heights under Murray in 2012. Of course freshman sensation Todd Gurley made it a much more balanced attack, but Murray’s arm made the Bulldogs downright explosive. Georgia rolled up a record 713 offensive yards against FAU, and UGA set a Capital One Bowl record with 589 total yards. The Bulldogs led the SEC in 20-, 30-, and 40-yard plus passes. How’s that for a downfield threat?

Murray saved his best ‘12 performance for last against Nebraska, setting a Capital One Bowl record with five touchdowns through the air against the top-ranked passing defense in the country.

But quarterbacks are ultimately measured by their championships, and championships have eluded Murray throughout his career. He’s played for two SEC titles in three years, and he can end all the criticism by hoisting the hardware in 2013. And with Georgia returning 10 offensive starters and only losing receiver Tavarres King, there is room for more added pressure but certainly room for more anticipation than ever.

Georgia will open 2013 as the favorite in the SEC East behind the weathered veteran Aaron Murray.

The Countdown

Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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