At 6-foot-1, Aaron Murray's size will be dissected without mercy by NFL scouts in 2014, however the Georgia signal caller is currently concerned with his desire to stand tall among the greats in school history.
Murray told ESPN.com in a story published Thursday that his goal was to surpass offensive coordinator Mike Bobo's goal of a 65 percent completion percentage. Murray is aiming for 70.
Murray also said that his goal is for the offense to score in the 40 to 60 point range on a regular basis instead of winning 10-0 defensive battles. Murray made no mention of wining the SEC's Player of The Year award so we'll do that for him. If Murray's season goes ccording to plan he'll be given the accolade sometime in December.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford is considered the allt-time gold standard for Georgia quarterbacks, however, Murray has outproduced Stafford's career totals in just two seasons.
In 27 career starts Murray, a redshirt junior, has already thrown for 6,149 yards, 59 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. In three seasons Stafford threw for fewer touchdowns(51) and more interceptions(33) and 7,731 yards.
Last season, Murray's 35 passing touchdowns not only established a single season school record but it was also seventh-most in the nation.
Murray is only a junior, but is already on pace to shatter every major school passing record. Murray is 13 touchdowns behind David Greene's school record 72 career touchdown passes and if he plays two more seasons he would eclipse the career passing yardage record by over 2,000 yards.
Murray's numbers are especially impressive when you consider Mark Richt deploys a slow plodding, run-first pro-style offense against SEC defenses.
Despite his sublime passing acumen, Murray's mobility in the pocket and outside of it may be his most impressive attribute. Not only does he have the speed and agility to spring past pressure into the second layer of the defense to gain yardage but he has displayed the ability to scramble outside the pocket, keep his head upfield and throw on the run with ease.
Georgia will rely heavily Murray this season after the dismissal of running back Isaiah Crowell in the off-season.
Murray will have to cut down on the turnovers that plagued him at times last season but it shouldn't be too much of a challenge for Murray, who possesses a great football IQ but has flashed a tendency to force throws.
However, Murray's ability to force throws into tight coverage off his back foot or on the run is not unlike that of Drew Brees or many other mobile quarterbacks that improvise with their legs when the protection breaks down. Murray's touchdown pass to Bruce Figgins against Georgia Tech is a perfect example of how Murray's supreme ability to scramble while paying attention to his receivers downfield.
LSU and Alabama are considered the favorites to represent the SEC in its seventh consecutive national championship but they lack a go-to offensive player that can snag player of the year votes.
Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson is a superior NFL prospect and clubhouse favorite for the SEC's best player after being named to the SEC's pre-season First Team, however, it remains to be seen how he and the remainder of the Razorbacks offense respond to their new coach staff in the wake of Bobby Petrino's firing.
South Carolina tailback, Marcus Lattimore is recovering from a knee injury suffered in October while Kniles Davis missed all of last season due to injury.
Ultimately, Murray is the best returning quarterback in the SEC best and while Tyler Wilson may throw for more yardage, Murray returns for his fourth season in a system he has a complete grasp of.
If Murray makes the next steps in his progression as a college quarterback, the SEC Player of the Year award may not be the only award he'll be grasping for. The other may be a Heisman.753547