Richt advises uneasy fans: Just watch Aaron Murray’s tape

Most people who follow Georgia football had figured since the end of last season that Aaron Murray probably would be the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback in 2010. What no one figured, of course, was that his competition would dissipate as it has.

But with Zach Mettenberger dismissed from the team and Logan Gray shifting part-time to wide receiver, Murray seems suddenly solidly entrenched as the Dogs’ 2010 quarterback.

“We’re thinner at QB than we expected to be at this time,” coach Mark Richt told a Bulldog Club gathering this week, “but if you want to feel good about it, just go back on the Internet and do a little search on Aaron Murray and watch Aaron’s high school tape. And I think you’ll get just as excited as you were the day he . . . committed to Georgia.”

Murray in spring practice, watched by Mike Bobo (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

Murray in spring practice, watched by Mike Bobo (AJC photo/Brant Sanderlin)

(If you want to heed Richt’s advice, by the way, you can find plenty video of Murray’s high school days on YouTube.)

Richt has said that Murray, a redshirt freshman, would have been No. 1 on the post-spring depth chart even if Mettenberger had not been kicked off the team, and Gray’s desire to play wide receiver seems to speak volumes about how he saw the chances of surpassing Murray at quarterback this summer.

In high school in Tampa, Murray was a Parade Magazine All-American and MVP of the prestigious Elite 11 camp for the nation’s top quarterback prospects. But fresher on Georgia fans’ minds is his underwhelming performance in the G-Day spring game.

Richt seemed to be trying to ease those concerns during the Bulldog Club meeting at the Walnut Creek Shooting Preserve near Macon this week.

“His skill set -– you would take Aaron Murray every single year that you are recruiting a quarterback,” Richt said. “He’s got a very quick release. He’s an accurate passer. I know in the G-Day game he wasn’t super-accurate, but you got to admit we threw a lot of very low-percentage balls that day. He’s an accurate passer.”

Murray will be the only newcomer on an offense that returns starters at the other 10 positions. He’ll have the luxury of an experienced  line, two talented tailbacks and one of the nation’s top wide receivers.

Murray “is to the point, in my opinion, where he just needs to play,” Richt said in an interview.  “The biggest thing for him is to understand that you don’t have to do anything spectacular. You don’t have to put the team on your shoulders. You’re not required to carry this football team. You’re required to do your job. And part of your job is to not try to be a hero.

“My biggest thing is: Don’t turn a bad play into a catastrophe. If it’s a bad play, throw it away, take a sack, whatever you got to do.. . .  Let’s not be flippant or casual with that ball.”.

Georgia committed 28 turnovers (17 interceptions thrown and 11 fumbles lost) last season and had an atrocious turnover ratio of minus-16 (28 lost, 12 gained). Richt calls turnover ratio the most important statistic in football.

“If we just turn that around, we win a minimum of 10 and probably 11 games [last season],” he said. “So we got to get better at that.”

That will require forcing more opponent turnovers, which is up to Todd Grantham’s defense, and protecting the ball better on offense, which starts with Aaron Murray.

254 comments Add your comment

Amazing

May 15th, 2010
1:04 pm

I like the vibes so far for UGA football, and basketball for that matter

Magic Man

May 15th, 2010
1:13 pm

Look for the dawgs to pick up a commitment from Justin ScottWesley today at the state track meet.

UGA Faithful

May 15th, 2010
1:20 pm

aaron murray would have been the number one quarterback for many recruit ranking systems (espn, etc.) had he not broken his leg. all these “fans” who bash murray for bad accuracy and a weak arm obviously never has seen his camp and season tapes–hes a beast!! how many of his passes were either dropped or hit the finger tips of his receivers on g-day. of course in his first game in front of a large crowd in college hes gonna have some nerves but thats expected. murray will have a productive season and great career at uga and prove all his doubter wrong

poopdawg

May 15th, 2010
1:34 pm

Murray will be the best all around QB at UGA since David Greene but more athletic.

Clint

May 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

I think the thing that worries most UGA fans about Murray is that if he is so good, then why did Joe Cox start every game last year? They probably forget or maybe do not know that Murray was injured for a good portion of the season and that’s more than likely what held him back from starting.

Dawg Days

May 15th, 2010
1:39 pm

Okay I did, he hasn’t played in a game in 16 months, 20 months come September. Zero SEC experience for the young man, his first SEC test will be in a hostile enviroment against a pretty good team and defense.

Murray the Midget

May 15th, 2010
1:39 pm

I don’t like that picture that they have of me throwing. And what exactly is a shorty? Heard that in a club last night.

freedyg

May 15th, 2010
1:48 pm

LEMAY IS THE FUTURE….

Weak Schedule

May 15th, 2010
1:51 pm

The main reason Murray will have a decent season–Georgia plays the weakest schedule in the SEC. When Georgia is getting all lathered up over a visit to Columbia you know it’s a weak atse schedule. Once they hit Jax reality will set in. This is another avg Richt team. Plays the avg teams well but can’t matchup physically with Fla, Bama, LSU and other elite SEC teams.

destin dawg

May 15th, 2010
2:03 pm

great season coming… I’m pumped.. Murray will be fine.. good O line, 2 great TB’s, AJ., Durham, super TE’s.. plus Gran tham’s big DDDD..Go Dwags !!!!!

Brandon Spikes

May 15th, 2010
2:20 pm

This makes me wish I had one more year.

Murray can play

May 15th, 2010
2:37 pm

Murray is a player. Go watch film. Barring some bad injury he will be a great quarterback. Strong arm, quick release, good feet, and he is smart, a hard worker and a good kid to boot. He is the real deal.

My Sympathy

May 15th, 2010
2:38 pm

My sympathy to all the nerds who troll here because there is just not enough interest in Tech to make them worth writing about.

SEC Champions 2010!

May 15th, 2010
2:40 pm

Weak Schedule,

What are you talking about?

Georgia holds the all-time series lead against the following teams from the SEC: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.

The Dogs also own the all-time series lead against non-conference and in-state rival Georgia Tech. In the past 20 meetings, the Bulldogs have defeated the Yellow Jackets 15 times.

On the flip side, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee each own the all-time series lead against the Dogs. Georgia, however, has closed the gap on Alabama and LSU by winning 3 of the last 4. And the Dogs have owned Auburn as of late winning 4 out of the last 5! On the flip side, the Bulldogs have not faired well against Tennessee winning only 2 of the last 5 contests. As for hanging with the big dogs, Georgia is the the big DAWG!

Teresa

May 15th, 2010
2:41 pm

FACT: Aaron Murray is a kid with marginal intelligence and athletic skills. The Dawg fans who are getting all pumped up over him need to get a better grip on reality. There are plenty of impressive looking high school quarterbacks who fizzle when they get to college. The SEC isn’t high school, folks, and you let Coach Bozo work with this kid during the summer and fall, you’re getting set up for a huge letdown.

Mettenberger was by far the best QB prospect, and he’s gone. Maybe Richt should be on the phone begging Zach to come back. After a few games, I can just see Sanford Stadium full of signs saying ZACH COME BACK.

So get steeled now for a very frustrating season. If the Dawgs can cut down on penalties and arrests and get a break or two, they may finish 7-5 or 8-4, but that’s as good as it’s going to get as long as Richt is the head coach at UGAy.

Murray the Midget

May 15th, 2010
2:41 pm

Gosh AJC, could you please take that picture down. I mean, how tall is Coach Bozo behind me, like 6′6″ or something?

Murray the Midget

May 15th, 2010
2:43 pm

OMG! I mean Bobo. Another darn Freudian slip!

Jacob Flinder in Waynesboro

May 15th, 2010
2:47 pm

“Georgia holds the all-time series lead against the following teams from the SEC: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.”

What the hell does that have to do with the price of tea in China? Are you living in today’s world, or are you stuck in the past?

Me

May 15th, 2010
2:51 pm

I tried to do an internet search on Aaron Murray but couldn’t get it big enough to read.

Go Dawgs

May 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

Sign Ricky Cochran from Madison – He still has 1 yr of eligibility left!!

BigGAdawg

May 15th, 2010
3:01 pm

“My biggest thing is: Don’t turn a bad play into a catastrophe. If it’s a bad play, throw it away, take a sack, whatever you got to do.. . . Let’s not be flippant or casual with that ball.”.
AMEN
A real effort to cut out stupid mistakes at the QB position and throughout the defense will make a huge difference in the games this fall. Of course showing up with a REAL defense is going to make things SO MUCH better for everyone.

Clint, Injury was only a part of it. CMR has stated that given the choice he will ALWAYS redshirt QBs and interior linemen. QBs not only have to get used to the much faster pace that they will face in the SEC but the playbooks are as thick as big city phone books and the QBs have a couple of them. The system is very complex and they have to know everything in them so well that they don’t have to stop and think but rather just act and react. That redshirt year is invaluable to those kids. It also gives them a chance to build confidence in themselves and instill confidence in their teammates that they are going to be able to handle the position.

Rick

May 15th, 2010
3:02 pm

Teresa -

Can you back-up your so called “FACT” sweetie? Show the proof sweetheart.

I also see that morals and personal responsibility doesn’t enter into the equation for you when it comes to selecting a QB.

You’re all the reason what’s wrong with alot of so called DAWG fans today.

Find another team babe!

destin dawg

May 15th, 2010
3:04 pm

hey Teresa.. FACT: Richt’s average is 9 or 10 wins at UGA..plus a bowl game.. FACT

BigGAdawg

May 15th, 2010
3:06 pm

Teresa,
Is your last name Mettenberger?

SatchelBuzz

May 15th, 2010
3:07 pm

Murray should do well,….figure by his sophomore season he will surpass Joe Cox’s level of performance. Don’t see him leading uga to a victory over USC-east in the 2nd game,..so you start 1-1. I’ll say this,..CMR shouldn’t be on the hot seat,….he’s .500 against CPJ, damn fine job.

THWG!

jzdawg

May 15th, 2010
3:09 pm

Hey Murray the Midget. Have you ever met Aaron Murray face to face? I bet not. I have actually talked to him face to face and he is not short by any means . I am 6′5 and he is all of 6′1 if not taller – and no he didn’t have on platform shoes. You must be very self conscious of your height or something else because you seem to be dwelling on this issue.

Lane Pimpin

May 15th, 2010
3:17 pm

By Jacksonville, the three Gator first team AA defensive linemen will be contributing. Book it, Ron Powell, the best player in the nation last year and his DT buddy who was picked MVP in two all-star games, will stuff a ball or two thrown by the midget rookie QB for the Poodles — if Murray still is in the line-up because he is an injury prone guy. That is good news because it will prevent another pick thrown by the Athens rookie.

Ahead of Florida...

May 15th, 2010
3:21 pm

The Georgia Bulldogs; The 15th
Most Prestigious College Football Program in the Nation

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3849468

The University of Georgia began their football history 116 years ago in 1892. Since that time, the Bulldogs have played 1,174 games and have compiled an overall record of 731-389-54; the third best Southeastern Conference (SEC) record behind Alabama and Tennessee.

The Dogs have won twelve SEC titles and two national championships in their storied history: a shared title in 1942 and a consensus national championship in 1980. The football program has produced two Heisman Trophy winners (Frank Sinkwich, 1942, and Herschel Walker, 1982) and is the only college football program in the nation to hold the distinction of having three graduates become Super Bowl MVPs (Jake Scott, 1972, Terrell Davis, 1998, and Hines Ward, 2005).

Georgia holds the all-time series lead against the following teams from the SEC: Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.

The Dogs also own the all-time series lead against non-conference and former SEC rival Georgia Tech winning 15 of the last 20 contests.

Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee each own the all-time series lead against the Dogs. However, the Dogs have closed the gap on Alabama and LSU by winning 3 of the last 4. And the Dogs have owned Auburn as of late winning 4 out of the last 5! On the flip side, the Bulldogs have not faired well against Tennessee winning only 2 of the last 5.

Under the leadership of current head coach Mark Richt, the Bulldogs have finished #3 and #2 in the nation (2002, 2007), have recruited a top ten class (according to Rivals) 8 out of Richt’s 9 seasons at Georgia (the nation’s longest active streak until this year), won two SEC Championships (2002, 2005), three SEC Eastern Division titles, and tied for another. Coach Richt’s 90-27 record is sixth best in the country in winning percentage among active coaches (.769). He was named SEC Coach of the Year in both 2002 and 2005. His record against non-conference teams is 39-4 and his teams are 33-6 when playing in an opponent’s home stadium. He is one of only nine head coaches in Division I-A history to record 60 or more wins in his first six season and 70 or more wins in his first seven seasons. He’s one of only six coaches in history to win two SEC championships in his first five years, and one of only five head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons (2002-05). In bowl games during his tenure, he has gone 7-2, with three Sugar Bowl appearances and two Sugar Bowl victories. Fifty-four of Richt’s players have been chosen in the NFL draft over the last nine years, including eight chosen in the 2002 NFL draft–the most Georgia players ever selected in a single year. He also produced two 1st round picks in the 2009 draft in which Matthew Stafford was selected #1 overall.

“Be worthy as you run upon this hallowed sod,
For you have dared to tread where champions have trod.”

TampaDave

May 15th, 2010
3:34 pm

Hey I’ve met Murray. Ask him about Ybor. He’s been there a time or two. He’s only about 6′ or so, not the tallest QB but a good high school player when he was healthy. His best asset is his mobility. He will struggle his first year and then it will be a battle between he and LeMay next year. Even Peyton Manning struggled his first year…

Me

May 15th, 2010
3:37 pm

Dawgs haven’t held the advantage over Florida since the mid 1930’s. What’s your point??

Mike

May 15th, 2010
3:41 pm

Nice article by Steve from the AJC on Murray. The guy’s tough, came back from a broken leg, weeks before he was supposed to, and led his team to a state championship. Legend in Tampa, Fla, the guy is used to playing in big games, and showed himself to be a big game type of guy. He also showed great leadership. Threw for 88 yd’s in high school. Plant’s a classic high school powerhouse in a big division there. Here’s the article:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/georgias-aaron-murray-ready-490463.html

Mike

May 15th, 2010
3:44 pm

ESPN’s Joe Schad knows college football. He said Colt McCoy called Aaron Murray “one of the most impressive players he’d EVER seen”.

http://espn.go.com/blog/sportscenter/post/_/id/33003/joe-schads-ten-college-football-story-lines-to-watch-this-spring#more

The Sham

May 15th, 2010
3:52 pm

WEAK SCHEDULE? That is true. I’ve looked at it (so you know it must be true) and I realistically think we can be 7-1 going in to FLA. The schedule just lines up for the possibility. More accurately, I think we’ll be 6-2 at that point, but if we are 5-3 (or worse), then I will be EXTREMELY disappointed.

The most important facts are that this team has 10 returning starters on offense and a defense that couldn’t be worse than we were last year. I realize part of the defense failures were rooted in the offense putting them in bad situations repeatedly but that too should be improved with a fully developed run game. Once that came together, it was a different last half of the season than the first! I don’t know about 10 wins like CMR said, but there was obvious room for improvement.

BTW TERESA – Weren’t you Murray’s HS prom date that he dumped for the hotter Cheerleader captain? You sound like sour grapes… I hate North Ave Nerds who have nothing better to do than be envious of a serious football program!

82Dawg

May 15th, 2010
3:58 pm

TERESA …you just need to worry about cleaning the house and cooking super tonight. Not football because you are an idiot when it comes to that.

Mike

May 15th, 2010
3:58 pm

Jeff

May 15th, 2010
4:03 pm

Must see Video of Superbowl Champ and NFL MVP QB Drew Brees, all 6′ 0” of him, great highlights, in hd, Murray reminds me a lot of Drew Brees:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4ruh-ujts0&feature=related

Tim

May 15th, 2010
4:05 pm

Nice interview with Murray on ESPN here, Murray was the #2 ranked QB on ESPN:

http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/23042

Barkin'Dog

May 15th, 2010
4:19 pm

Ahead of Florida… GREAT REPORT – THANKS!!
BUT… UGA was shown as 14th Greatest! UF was 15th.

Here’s what’s really grating on the jackets (as shown in their report at #18th)…
The Yellow Jackets haven’t had a major bowl win since the 1955-56 season, when they won the 1956 Sugar Bowl at the tail end of the aforementioned five-year dream run under coach Bobby Dodd.
Did you know? Georgia Tech is the highest-rated team in the Prestige Rankings to never be ranked No. 1 in an AP poll.
Suck on that GT fans, while you continue to gloat over a fluke win over the Dawgs – over a year ago.

Dawg Days

May 15th, 2010
4:20 pm

Teresa must be as drunk as Mettenburger to believe any of that BS she spouted. And 1eyed Jack, better hope your mom doesn’t read this blog; she might not do your laundry or cook your supper.

TampaGator

May 15th, 2010
5:20 pm

Huh????…Murray is accurate as long as he only throws only high percentage passes. Duh!!!! Isn’t everyone???? Well, he won’t be throwing those high percentage passes against high school corners in the fall. He better get better at throwing the mid and long range balls, too, if he wants to win in the SEC…and especially when he plays the Bama and the Gators. And just for the record, Brantley has a pro-strength arm and is accurate on any type of pass!!! And he is going to have a ton of weapons to catch and run with the ball this fall.

TampaGator

May 15th, 2010
5:22 pm

And Jeff is Mike and Mike is “Ahead of Florida”….and hopefully, they won’t start talking to themselves.

pcsjax1

May 15th, 2010
5:23 pm

Murray reminds me alot of Joe Cox!

Verne Troyer

May 15th, 2010
5:26 pm

I met Aaron Murray and we were eye to eye.

Paddy

May 15th, 2010
5:27 pm

Teresa,try another sport to comment on, football and you don’t click. I hear badmitton is fun to follow.

Tom Thumb

May 15th, 2010
5:30 pm

Aaron and me were separated at birth.

dawgy2003

May 15th, 2010
5:42 pm

This is an easy one and don’t see why so many people are worried. Does anyone think this guy is worse than Joe Cox? And does anyone think that are defense will be any worse?… I expect a solid 10 win season this year and maybe more.

SOOHSO

May 15th, 2010
6:09 pm

Murray is really only 5′ 11′.

dawgster

May 15th, 2010
6:16 pm

TampaGator, not sure what you were responding to, but I agree that Brantley was a very high rated QB, but he too has not been tested much by the SEC competition, so lets hold off on crowning him the king of all QB’s as you seem to think,,The same thing can be said of Murray, has all the tools, but hasn’t been tested…I can only attest to what i have seen and read of this young man….I get the feeling that the gators can’t stand the fact that we got him away from your precious gators…You know we lost a lot of good players to the gators and other teams just as you have to us…Brantley and Murray’s season will not be just about them, but how the other players perform around them..I don’t know if you are knocking Murray or not, but the negative comments about Murray from alot of gator fans seem unwarranted…

T-Rav and the Eastside Grainger

May 15th, 2010
6:25 pm

Metternberger and Logan Gray looked good on tape in high school too. You kicked one off the team and the other almost transferred. Whether or not he’s good isnt the issue. The issue is you never know with these kids. For UGA, he HAS to be good….or else.

NOBODYYOUKNOW

May 15th, 2010
6:26 pm

1st. there are no easy schedules in the SEC.2nd UGA ALWAYS gets the cream of the crop in recruits. 3rd. Teresa may be wiser than you think.