ATHENS, Ga — If there was one bright spot during Georgia’s 6-7 2010 season, it was the stellar performance of freshman quarterback Aaron Murray.
Many thought that this position would be a major question mark heading into the season, but Murray did a great job of answering the call.
In his first year at the helm of the Georgia offense, Murray shined, and completed one of the best seasons in the history of Georgia football.
Murray finished the 2010 campaign with 3,216 total yards and 3,049 passing yards, which was good enough to rank second all-time amongst SEC freshman.
He also finished with a passer rating of 154.48, which ranks second all-time for quarterbacks in the history of Georgia football. The only person to post a higher number is Georgia offensive coordinator and quarterback’s coach, Mike Bobo.
If those numbers don’t impress you, then Murray’s 28 touchdowns and 8 interceptions should do the job. Murray threw no more than three touchdowns in any one game, but he would do that six times.
With that being said, Murray will go without a very important piece that helped him succeed in 2010, A.J. Green—that really goes without saying.
If Murray was a question mark in 2010, then who he will throw to is one of the major question marks in 2011. A topic that I will address later.
What made Murray so good in 2010?
Although Murray did not have Green in the first four games of 2010, a great deal of importance to Murray’s success was the phenomenal play of Green.
Last year, Green would make plays, that other receivers physically couldn’t make.
Aside from Green, Murray also had the sure hands of Kris Durham to throw to, but he will be another piece that will be missing in 2011.
However, there is still a lot of credit that belongs to the actual signal caller himself.
Aaron Murray, although he doesn’t have the stature of Ryan Mallet, has the ability to be very physical, take hits, and get right back up. He doesn’t have the physicality of Cam Newton, but he is elusive and he is able to extend plays.
Murray was able to avoid defenders and use his legs to make something out of nothing. When you have a quarterback that can do that, you know you have something special.
Is there room for improvement?
Murray had a great year in 2010, but there is still a lot of polishing and work that needs to be done to improve his game.
And Murray knows there is. So much so, that during the off-season, he went back and looked at every single incompletion–all 133 of them.
After watching the tape, what did Murray say he needed to improve? His footwork.
If Murray can improve his footwork, not only will Murray be one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC, but he could be a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
Who stands behind Murray?
Obviously Georgia has the number one quarterback figured out, but what would happen if Murray went down?
Other than the huge panic that would spread throughout all Georgia fans, someone else would need to come in and do the job.
The first option would be Hunter Mason, a 6′3” sophomore from Marietta, Georgia.
Mason did not redshirt last season, and he appeared in four games. He became the second player in Division I-A to throw a touchdown on his first collegiate pass when he completed a 46-yard touchdown to Logan Gray in the season opener last season against Louisiana-Lafayette.
The other option is freshman Christian LeMay, who enrolled in Georgia early to participate in spring practice. LeMay led his North Carolina high school team to a state championship during his junior season.
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