Veteran Durham ‘just can’t wait to see’ what Aaron Murray does

MACON — Kris Durham started his Georgia football career with Matthew Stafford and will end it with Aaron Murray.

Durham graduated early from high school and enrolled at UGA in January 2006, along with the fellow freshman Stafford. Fast forward to June 2010. Stafford is a multi-millionaire NFL quarterback, and Durham is the grizzled veteran of the Bulldogs.

The wide receiver from Calhoun received his bachelor’s degree last month. “That was probably one of the highlights of my life, getting that degree,” he said. This week he began graduate school, starting work toward a master’s degree in education. He wants to teach and coach. But first, he has one season of football eligibility remaining because he was redshirted last fall while rehabbing from shoulder surgery.

Durham represented UGA’s offense at the “Pigskin Preview” event at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in Macon on Tuesday, and the fifth-year senior exuded enthusiasm each time someone mentioned Murray, the redshirt freshman quarterback.

“Aaron is a special guy,” Durham said. “He’s very, very intelligent. He’s going to bring a new energy. I’m excited to see what he does. He’s a fiery competitor. I just can’t wait to see what he does.

“He gets in there and studies and knows what he’s supposed to do. And he’s a great leader. I mean, you don’t usually see that in a freshman, but he’s definitely taken his leadership role as the quarterback of the team.”

Given the attrition at the position –- Zach Mettenberger’s dismissal and Logan Gray’s quasi-move to wide receiver –- the Bulldogs are banking on Murray. Coach Mark Richt mentioned Tuesday that spending this summer with the responsibilities of  being the No. 1 quarterback  should allow Murray a smoother transition than the true freshman Stafford was afforded in 2006.

“Along the way,  there are going to be bumps in the road, [but] hopefully we can minimize those,” Richt said. “The fact [Murray] is surrounded by a lot of veteran players on offense should help.

“If he doesn’t try to be a hero and he just manages the game well and does the things we’re asking him to do and minimizes any play that starts out poorly and respects the football –- if he does those things, I think we’ll be fine,” Richt said. “If we can get him started on the right foot and gaining some confidence, we’ll let him grow in increments. But the worst thing we could do is just throw so much on him that he’s drowning. You don’t want to set him back.”

Murray, as you know, has never thrown a pass in a collegiate game. But with starters returning at the other 10 positions on offense, Durham envisions Murray leading a balanced unit.

“I feel like the run game is going to open up the pass game, and the pass game is going to open up the run game,” Durham said. “But it all starts with the offensive line.  Since we have such a veteran offensive line, I feel like they’re going to be our rock. . . . We can’t do anything without them. Whatever we do, the offensive line is going to be the key.”

Durham, who at 22 is three years older than his quarterback, says the Bulldogs are fueled by last season’s 8-5 record, their worst under Richt.

“You  work and build a foundation and start all over again,” Durham said. “You start from scratch. That’s what we’ve tried to do this offseason.”

For more on the Bulldogs: www.twitter.com/ajcuga

180 comments Add your comment

Shepdawg

June 9th, 2010
12:33 am

First……that is all

Kirby Smart

June 9th, 2010
12:39 am

He’s going to get crushed out there. He’ll be on crutches by the 3rd game. Get ready for a long season.

ugakev

June 9th, 2010
12:39 am

people fear us which is why you see some much bashing of us ….murray will be the real deal….GO DAWGS!!!

Smokey the Bear

June 9th, 2010
12:40 am

nick marshall committed to the Dawgs!!!!!! Check rivals.com. lol all the tech fans who thought he was a silent commit.

Gamec0ck envy

June 9th, 2010
12:45 am

Smokey the Bear

June 9th, 2010
12:50 am

Ok well he actually was a silent to tech. Oops!

heya

June 9th, 2010
12:50 am

he is gonna be a beast sec championship here we come

Dawg Master

June 9th, 2010
1:06 am

Murray will be the surprise QB in the SEC—mark it down! He’s better than Brantley and will take the Dawgs to the SEC east title.

Ginger

June 9th, 2010
1:13 am

Excited about having Aaron at QB and Kris back at WR….Seem them both doing great things this yr.

DawgDave

June 9th, 2010
1:22 am

Can’t wait to hear all the nerds claim Nick Marshall isn’t a very good recruit now that he chose UGA. Not sore losers just losers…..

bkbroila4224

June 9th, 2010
1:33 am

Nick Marshall should play WR and DB…He has some serious athletic ability…2 inches taller than Boykin with the same vertical…Crazy!!!

Paul Johnson

June 9th, 2010
1:46 am

We’ve got bigger fish to fry than Nick Marshall.

UGA owns you tasty bees..

June 9th, 2010
2:15 am

lol like finding the right bra size mr. PB&J? You guys really need to win more than once in a decade, especially before you take a swing at a UGA fan..

UGA owns you tasty bees..

June 9th, 2010
2:33 am

UGA gets another terrific athlete in Nick Marshall (Wilcox Co.) and the techies are left , yet again, looking for table scraps (pun very much intended) from what is becoming one of the best recruiting classes in Ga in ten years. Did you punks seriously think he wanted to play high school ball for 3-4 more years? I’d rather play in front of 92,000+ real fans, not white t-shirt wearing, yellow wig(i know, right?) wearing wussies who have to live with being the second best in the state. Until Georgia State takes that over in a few more years. Hell, i think GSU’s team recruiting rankings are twice as good as techs, seeing the prospects they’re bringing in. IN THEIR FIRST YEAR. Gotta be a scary thing to witness from that crime-ridden dump on N. Ave…

hi there

June 9th, 2010
4:17 am

Hey BuLLdawg. Here is an accurate WHOLE record. Nothing like the pick and choose stats you use..

under Richt

He is 24-7 against the SEC West.

He is 28-16 against the SEC East.

He is 38-4 against nonconference opponents.

He is 8-1 against Georgia Tech.

He won four of his first five games against Tennessee, but has lost three of the last four against the Vols since then.

He was born the same year as Chuck D of Public Enemy.

Ranks third in winning percentage among active college coaches that have coached for at least five years, now that Pete Carroll left USC for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks.

He is 90-27, trailing only Urban Meyer (96-18) and Bob Stoops (117-29).\\yeah he is pretty damn good

Mark Richt is one of only six coaches to win two SEC football championships in their first five years coaching. He is also one of only five head coaches in SEC history to record four straight 10-win seasons

Coach Richt’s Red and Black outfits have never posted a losing record in conference play and six of his last eight squads have finished 6-2 or better in regular-season SEC contests.

Jen

June 9th, 2010
4:46 am

Good Luck to you Aaron…..trust your O-Line and stay healthy.

We believe in you!

destin dawg

June 9th, 2010
5:41 am

Aaron’s a hard worker, smart, can scramble when needed , BIG O line, + 2 great TB’s, AJ, Durham, great TE’s to throw to…. let’s see what Grantham’s D can do… I think good maybe a great season… plus top recruiting class !!! Life is good in Athens !!!!

chazzo

June 9th, 2010
6:18 am

Hi there,
Thanks for the stats. While I agree with you wholeheartedly, BuLLfrawg does make a salient point in asking, “what has Richt done lately?” He often brings up the last four years: One of which UGA finished 2 and 3 in the nation. One of which half his team was out injured. And, last year which was Richt’s first critical rebuilding year. One 8 win season, his worst record since his first year (also an 8 win season). He is a solid coach. He has made some good hires. UGA is under the radar for 2010; we’ll see how it goes. If any crit of Richt is accurate, it may be that he tends to hold on to some players and coaches too long. He seems to take it personally. I like that about him. Of course, I don’t know him, but if I were a player, I would want to play for him.

Spike

June 9th, 2010
6:39 am

Kris Durham is a class act, and he has great hands!! Throw him the damn ball!!

Cook

June 9th, 2010
7:08 am

If this kid’s a team guy, he’s not gonna throw interceptions or get injured and hurt the team. If he’s a me guy, he’ll be on the bench soon and Mason or Gray will take his spot. Gonna be watching that touchdown to interception ratio like a hawk. If he panics and throw interceptions like he did on G-Day, when blitzed, he’s gonna get more of that all year. He needs to either ru, throw it away, toss it to a checkdown or take a sack.

O Reilly

June 9th, 2010
7:13 am

Does Murray buy into the garbage that a freshman QB is expected to make a lot of mistakes and throw a ton of intercetions? If he does, he’ll los ehis spot soon. Kosar got it done as a red shirt freshman–won a National Championship–it can happen. Kosar went 300 passes without an intercpetion later. It’s a mindset. Like coach said, be smart, use your intelligence, don’t try to go all Brett Favre on us. Trust your teammates, as Michael Jordan gound out.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

June 9th, 2010
7:14 am

i’m so pumped for this year- i think we’re going into this season way underated. Also, I would keep Marshall as a backup QB but start him as a DB, just in case.

Joe

June 9th, 2010
7:21 am

I want to get excited too, but just cant. I have heard this song and dance before…..Offensive line as our rock- unless something changes, and I hope it does- this is the unit that has underperformed the most in recent years. yeah- I know injuries…but thats part of the game. We just dont seem to have guys “step up”. Hopeing that changes.

Wally

June 9th, 2010
7:44 am

It’s on Bobo & Richt to transfer what they know about ball protection to Murray, fast. After teaching Cox for 3 years, Cox threw more interceptions than anyone has at Georgia in 35 years. Worried about Murray throwing 2 interceptions against Ark and maybe 3 against South Carolina and the season being over by week 3. It’s really about the ONLY thing that could derail the season.

The first 3 games set the tone for the season, and the 1st half of each set the tone for each game. Do well, and do well early.

Hopefully, Richt will bench Murray if he throws multiple interceptions in a game—that’s a standard that will not be enough.

The bench is the best teacher. These guys love to be on the field. If you sit them, they get the message.

Haney

June 9th, 2010
7:46 am

“I feel like the run game is going to open up the pass game, and the pass game is going to open up the run game,” Durham said.

What a brilliant, original idea.

And Aaron Murray will be an even bigger disappointment than Joe Cox.

the WHOLE record

June 9th, 2010
7:48 am

Mark Richt is 2-7 against Florida……
and barely 1-1 against Coach Paul Johnson.

Yaz

June 9th, 2010
7:50 am

This year:

Florida – 48
Georgia – 17

In your heart, you know I’m right. UGA will never beat Florida while Mark Richt is in Athens.

Swiney

June 9th, 2010
7:53 am

Have a great season Kris – we’re proud of all you’ve accomplished at UGA. Coach Richt picked the right guy to represent the Dawgs at the “Pigskin Preview”. And I definitely agree with Spike’s comments above.

Greensboro, Georgia

June 9th, 2010
7:58 am

*
………..Nesbitt for Heisman………….

Fisher

June 9th, 2010
8:04 am

Sure you can teach them all the right stuff, but you can’t teach ball protection. The QB either gets it, or they don’t. If they don’t, go on to the next guy. Trying to re-hab a QB like Cox in an interception free fall, during the season, is a formula for disaster. David Green had 25 td’s and only 5 int’s, 5-to-1 td-to-int ratio. McElroy & Tebow blew away Cox when it comes to td-to-int ratios, both were over 4, Cox was under 2.
Georgia has got to get this ratio under control.

Joey

June 9th, 2010
8:05 am

Gamec0ck envy, nice video, but why did you omit UGA’s 41 points? You lost the game, dufus!

Tide Roll

June 9th, 2010
8:06 am

It doesn’t matter. Until Richt and Bobo start Sturdivant, Glenn, burnette, Anderson and Davis as a UNIT., it’s more of the same at UGA. Your problem was, is, and will continue to be your offensicve line. Florida starts five tremendous athletes on their offensive line: Gilbert, Hurt, Pouncey, Carl Johnson and Xavier Nixon. I would argue UGA hs better personnel (see Aboce), yet refuses to play them as a UNIT. It makes you wonder. Until Uga make a commitment like Florida has., You’ll continue to be the over-rated program you are today. Wake up Richt.

rumblin wreck

June 9th, 2010
8:09 am

Despite the optimism, Murray threw just 2 touchdowns while throwing 3 interceptions over 3 Spring games/scrimmages.

Murray’s Spring .67 touchdown to interception ratio is 600% WORSE than McElroy’s last season and 230% WORSE, believe it or not, than Joe Cox.

Don’t know if the Georgia coaches realize how BIG of a problem this really is. it’s HUGE.

BIRDDAWGONE

June 9th, 2010
8:13 am

Yaz, Mark Richt has already beaten Florida twice, You are igrorant, I know in my heart.

poopdawg

June 9th, 2010
8:14 am

Durham will be huge this year for the Dawgs.

BIRDDAWGONE

June 9th, 2010
8:16 am

Tide Roll, Richt has a winning record against Alabama. What is your point?

the WHOLE record ll

June 9th, 2010
8:16 am

Paul “Boobs” Johnson at Tech is 0-2 with two blowout losses in bowl games…

the WHOLE record lll

June 9th, 2010
8:20 am

Handy Dan

June 9th, 2010
8:20 am

Durham’s excited about Murray. The team’s not. No one made plays for this guy in the Spring game, not sure why, lack of leadership maybe? They made plays for Gray and Mettenberger but not for Murray, dropped every long pass. Murray hasn’t cemented his leadership into his WR’s yet, they havn’t seem enough success to buy into him yet. Don’t blame em’, he looked terrible on G-Day, 0 Touchdowns, 1 interception. Not sure what Richt sees in the guy, he hasn’t shown anything.

Barack Dawg

June 9th, 2010
8:23 am

rumblin wreck – did you see David Green’s spring game – go back and see how he turned out in college. Stafford turned out just fine. Cox was a blip and had no defense to assist when he screwed up 17 times. Martinez had no idea to assess what was going on in a game and adjust. Forget about Todd G – the important facts on defense are that we have a ton of speed and Belin and Latakos to teach. The D will be much better than last year. The O Line should be fine. And based on the class being put together this year – you have nothing to look forward to but pain playing UGA.

The whole record — CPJ is barely 1 – 1 against UGA. It was not like you had some thundering pounding of UGA when you won the one game in the last decade.

UGA fans – ignore the naysayers — in Asia it is the year of the Tiger. In the SEC – it is the year of the DAWG!!!!!

Paddy

June 9th, 2010
8:24 am

rumblin wreck….that is about the most useless piece of information and stats I have ever heard anyone quote. Your .glass must be half empety all the time.

tim

June 9th, 2010
8:28 am

to the loser who posted that Murray was better than Brantley…..in your dreams. Brantley will light you losers up like Tebow only through the air…Murray will spend the majority of the day in Jax on his back..you puppies are as delusional as ever and as long as cmr is in Athens you will never beat UF

The Hobnail Boot

June 9th, 2010
8:29 am

Yaz thinks the Gators will score 48 on Uga. Who do you think you have that can put points on the board like that? Gator fans need to wake up and realize how bad their offense is this year.

rumblin wreck

June 9th, 2010
8:29 am

CPJ will be fine. Better passing this year, gonna get the backs more involved in the passing game too. Little more run/pass balance. 3-4 defense gonna be better too. If any of those last 4 passes against Georgia are successful, CPJ would be 2-0, very, very close to going up 2-0 on Georgia. Georgia slid by as CPJ was caught looking ahead to the ACC Championship.

Paddy

June 9th, 2010
8:32 am

Handy Dan….maybe Bobby Waterfield still has some eligability left? What a bunch of half hearted UGA fans on here today. Why not try rooting for your favorite girls soccer team!

rumblin wreck

June 9th, 2010
8:35 am

According to my calculations, Georgia tried to win by throwing the ball in the first 7 games. Over the last 5, they pulled a CPJ and started runnign the ball. Georgia has a tendancy to be over-confident and over-ambitious about their passing game (see Joe Cox for details). Richt’s not known for being a running type of guy, don’t see him changing now, even with CPJ’s success. Loving the pass is Richt’s achilles heel. Richt has “Charlie Weiss Syndrome”.

Cook

June 9th, 2010
8:40 am

Why does the Murray kid keep getting injured? The defenses he faces will test his physical & mental toughness, which is a big question mark, considering his past 2 seasons. Kid is injury-prone.

npgator

June 9th, 2010
8:40 am

Looks like another 8-5 season for the Dawgs.

The Hobnail Boot

June 9th, 2010
8:45 am

All you haters are scared to death of Murray.

Russell

June 9th, 2010
8:47 am

Navy & Air Force run the ball a lot, top 5 in the country, both of them.
They’re also both in the top 5 in ball protection, fewest offensive giveaways.

The 2 are linked to each other. Georgia passes too much, too many giveaways, too risky, no wonder the last 2 seasons have gone downhill.