Football notebook: Back to school for Dogs — graduate school in QB Murray’s case

(Updated 9 p.m.)

ATHENS — As fall semester classes began Monday at Georgia, Aaron Murray opened a new chapter in his academic playbook: graduate school.

Georgia’s starting quarterback, who has two seasons of football eligibility remaining, earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in May and was accepted into UGA’s graduate program in industrial-organizational psychology.

“It’s actually a doctorate program,” Murray said. “You get your master’s along the way.”

According to the UGA Department of Psychology website, the graduate program in industrial-organizational psychology “exists to develop, research and apply psychological principles to raise the quality of life for working individuals.”

Said Murray: “It’s a pretty big field nowadays. A lot of companies are hiring I-O psychologists.”

Whether Murray completes a master’s or Ph.D. degree in the foreseeable future might depend on how his other career aspiration unfolds.

He is eligible to enter next year’s NFL draft and has not ruled out that option.

“I’m not going to worry about that [now],” Murray said. “I’m just going to focus on the season, take one game at a time and at the end of the season, I’ll make a decision. Academically, we’ve set a plan for the next two years, what I’m going to do academically and we’ll see what happens.”

If he stays in school, Murray said he “hopefully” can get his master’s in two years and his Ph.D. in an additional two, although, realistically, the NFL figures in there somewhere.

“If I’m blessed to make it to the next level, [great],” Murray said. “If not, I could finish up my doctorate in four years and that would be pretty cool.”

An I-O psychologist, Murray said, “works on things like leadership in organizations, development, relationships between the bosses and the employees … figuring out ways to improve the company in general.”

Murray acknowledged it can be difficult to match the practice schedule of a football player with the academic schedule of a graduate student but said it worked out this semester so that his classes are in the morning three days a week.

Murray, who enrolled at UGA in January 2009, completed his bachelor’s degree in 3 1/2 years. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining because he redshirted in 2009.

‘An honor’ for 7 walk-ons

Georgia coach Mark Richt awarded scholarships for the 2012-13 school year to seven walk-on players over the weekend: fullback Merritt Hall (currently No. 1 on the depth chart at his position), wide receiver Rhett McGowan, tailback Brandon Harton, linebacker Kosta Vavlas and defensive backs Connor Norman, Luis Capella and Blake Sailors.

Harton and Sailors also received scholarships last year. The other five were awarded scholarships for the first time.

Richt announced the scholarships at a team meeting.

“Believe it or not, it’s a bittersweet moment for me,” Richt said Monday, “because as many guys as are getting scholarships, there are a lot that aren’t. And there are a lot of guys deserving. It’s very difficult to narrow it down to the group we narrowed it down to because there are some other young men who are probably just as deserving.

“I even debated if I should do it in a team meeting, because I know as exciting as it is for the guys who get it, it’s kind of heartbreaking for other guys. But when it happens, it is a very positive reaction — the first time I did it in front of the team a few years back, I was just impressed with the team in general and especially the scholarship guys and how excited they were for their teammates to get that honor. And it is an honor to say that you walked on and earned a scholarship somewhere along the way in your career.”

The scholarships were available because of attrition — dismissals and transfers — from the team. Counting former walk-ons, the Bulldogs now have 79 players on scholarship, below the NCAA limit of 85.

No movement on tailback front

Richt said “there’s not a lot of separation” among the top four tailbacks: veterans Ken Malcome and Richard Samuel and freshmen Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley.

“I think they’re all going to get their opportunity to play throughout the year,” Richt said. “Who’s going to be the starter, I don’t know. We’ll be anxious to see all of them, really. I will be.”

Etc.

Richt described Monday’s practice as “not bad, not great, not good enough probably to become a champion today. I think they’re still trying to get it done, but I thought I saw just a little bit of guys not giving it every little ounce they had today. I wouldn’t say it was the entire team, but there was enough of it going on that it wasn’t really that exciting to me.” … Defensive end Ray Drew was back at practice, albeit in a green (no-contact) jersey, after missing a week because of a concussion. … Freshman tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith was limited by a strained hamstring… . Three cornerbacks were in green jerseys: Malcome Mitchell and Branden Smith because of shoulder contusions and Damien Swann because of a neck sprain. … No surprise, but Richt said he expects offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to work from the booth on game days again this season. … Sounds as if freshman John Theus is going to be the starting right tackle.  The No. 1 offensive line “for the great majority of all our practices” has included Theus at right tackle, Richt said, “and I think it’s been good.” … If No. 1 left tackle Kenarious Gates were injured, either Watts Dantzler or Theus likely would move there from the right side, Richt said.

://www.macon.com/2012/08/13/2136781/this-and-that-not-a-lot-of-separation.html#storylink=cpy

133 comments Add your comment

11Dawg

August 13th, 2012
5:45 pm

“I’m not going to worry about that [now],” Murray said. “I’m just going to focus on the season, take one game at a time, and at the end of the season I’ll make a decision.”

Which is football player speak for “I’m gone, suckers!”

6-18 Against End of Season Ranked Teams Since '05

August 13th, 2012
5:51 pm

Maybe he could use some of that Psychology background to keep himself from choking against ranked teams!!!

Augusta dawg

August 13th, 2012
5:51 pm

Whatever happens the dawg nation wishes him the best. I hope he brings home a championship both sec and NCAA. GATA. 

B

August 13th, 2012
5:54 pm

Wow, that’s impressive. Thanks for the article on someone doing good.

Destin Dawg

August 13th, 2012
6:05 pm

Better attitudes for the team leaders, JJ, Murray, energy vampires are GONE… Junkyard Dawg defense will be SHUT DOWN… O line shaping up…can’t wait.. 2 more weeks.. SEC Champs THIS year !!

Beast from the East

August 13th, 2012
6:16 pm

Smart kid. Nice to see a student-athlete using that scholarship to it’s fullest by taking advantage of a free education.

SimpleDawg

August 13th, 2012
6:18 pm

Not too shabby…..

Work on that degree. The NFL is no sure thing. Tommy Lyons was able to become a dentist while playing football; surely Murray can get his PhD while he plays……if he makes it.

52 arrests in four years

August 13th, 2012
6:25 pm

Maybe he’ll make it if he stays out of jail, but being a dawg, the odds are heavily against him.

rex

August 13th, 2012
6:38 pm

How many of you haters graduated from college in 3 1/2 years?

Paddy

August 13th, 2012
6:48 pm

Great article and a great kid and player! We are lucky to have kids like this in the program.

Dawg Whisperer

August 13th, 2012
6:49 pm

Character, leadership, smarts & plain hard work. Aaron’s parents must be proud!

Delbert D.

August 13th, 2012
6:50 pm

Good feeder program for law school.

dbc

August 13th, 2012
6:52 pm

Good for you Aaron Murray! Most football players are only worried about adding up the money they MIGHT make in the NFL. Few have the brains to utilize their scholarship to its fullest. I think we can all add up the cost of obtaining both a bachelors degree and a masters at an out-of-state university. Worth at least $150K all together. Smart kid…

BC

August 13th, 2012
7:23 pm

Like to see Murray do well his Junior year.

Joe

August 13th, 2012
7:23 pm

Murray is a really impressive guy. I would take a football team full of guys like him. I would take a student body full of guys like him. I would take a son-in-law like him.

JB

August 13th, 2012
7:27 pm

I watched the replay of the Ga/Fla game from last year the other day. Murray better get that PhD. He missed about 20 open receivers in that game, all under 30 yards.

George Stein

August 13th, 2012
7:42 pm

That’s awesome for Murray.

@52 arrests

August 13th, 2012
7:46 pm

I keep asking for documentation on these charges, and there is not any. I am beginning to suspect it is just made up.

Man up and give us a link. Then you won’t have a guilty conscience about spreading false information.

Dawglasville

August 13th, 2012
7:51 pm

It only took two comments to find a douche. Nice.

Glad you’re still blogging George. Glad to see there are still a few adults on here. Very impressive Aaron. Glad you get the big picture.

Dawgmess

August 13th, 2012
7:51 pm

To: “52 Arrests In Four Years” – Very intelligent contribution. Obviously you too finished your batchelors degree in less than 4 years and already have your doctorate. We are honored and humbled to have your input!

Rick James

August 13th, 2012
7:52 pm

Nice,but I’m sure that Hutson Mason wants him to enter the draft.

MaconDawg

August 13th, 2012
7:53 pm

I love to see the jealosy rain down from all you non-UGA fans and even you so called Dawg fans. Everyone one of you can’t stand to see ANYONE be successful. And for youi JB, you are correct, he had plenty of opportunities to hit open receivers and didn’t but as they say in golf, it is not how you drive but how you arrive. He did complete two 4th down touchdown passes that were the difference in the game and UGA won the game. I am sure that is to your dismay. By the way, what is your masters or doctorate in? In fact do you even own a 4 year degree beyond middle school? I say “Congratulations Aaron and should you choose to enter the draft at the end of the year, good for you”

TMC DAWG

August 13th, 2012
7:55 pm

Hey,52 Get a life.

George Stein

August 13th, 2012
7:58 pm

You know I never want to give a UGA player too much credit, Dawglasville, but how can anyone dump on this.

18 days, boys.

BiggDawgK

August 13th, 2012
7:59 pm

Anyone else notice how how few comments there are when the ajc runs a rare favorable story about Georgia? I pray that my life is never so empty and pathetic that I have to resort to making hate filled comments about a guy who is bettering his life so that mine will seem less pointless.

1eyedJack

August 13th, 2012
8:00 pm

BC

August 13th, 2012
8:04 pm

1) One way I saw Murray improve in 2011, was he figured out how to win some big games, where there was big time pressure. After starting out 0-2, Richt’s seat was warming up, yet Murray went on a 10-0 winning streak. A big win over Florida, almost a must win after Richt lost to South Carolina. Murray came up big on 4th down aginst UF with some CLUTCH td’s, also made a CLUTCH throw to ice the game. Came up big against top 25 ranked Auburn, an incredible first half, made some CLUTCH throws, beating his first ranked team. Also, played a strong game against GT, beating another top 25 ranked team. First half against the #1 defense in the country, and his team was ahead and his offense outplayed Chavis’s defense. Played a good enough game to beat Mich St, but the defense gave up a last minute 80 yard drive, and Walsh missed a game wining field goal in ovetime. Those games will be good for Murray’s confidence as he now has solid past performances to hang his hat on when he doubts himself.

2) Look at RG3’s Junior year. RG3 never won a game against big teams in 2008, or 2010 or threw more than 22 td’s. Then as a Junior, threw 37 td’s and beat 2 top 20 ranked teams.
2008, RG3 went 0-5 against teams that finished top 20 (OK, OKS, Mizzou, Tex Tech, Texas)
2009, RG3 didn’t play in the big games.
2010, RG3 went 0-4 against teams that finished top 20 (TCU, OKS, Tex A/M, Okl) 3 of the losses were blowouts by 29 points or more.
2011, RG3 went 2-2 against teams that finished top 20 (TCU, Okl, KsT(lost by 1 pt) OKSt)

RG3, finished his Junior season with 4293 yards, 37 td’s, 6 int’s, 72% completions.

Won the Heisman.

3) Close game losses.
UGA lost 4 close games in 2010, Ark by 7, Col by 2, UF by 3, UCF by 4. A total of 16 points made the difference between a 6-7 season or a 10-4 season. 2011, lost 2 games by a field goal each, 6 points was the difference between going 10-4 and 12-2. He has played better than the record indicates, as 6 of 11 of the losses were by 7 or less points. LSU is the only blowout loss. So Murray played well enough in many games, but a new defense and def staff in 2010, and a terrible special teams in 2011, really hurt the team.

I think Murray could surprise many this season, including me, who tends to be more Larry Munson- esque pessimistic…

Man, I miss Larry Munson.

George Stein

August 13th, 2012
8:07 pm

Murray didn’t drop three touchdowns against LSU, either, BC.

BC

August 13th, 2012
8:15 pm

Yes, the 3 drops and punting to the Honey Badger will haunt me until September. Honey Badger also dropped the ball on the 1 yard line on his punt return, but no one caught it, we should have had the ball on the 20. Could have been up 28-0 at halftime and turned LSU into a passing offense, not their strength. murray mad a couple of boneheaded turnovers in the 3rd quarter, and then, inexplcably, we punted to Honey Badger AGAIN. Game over.

But in the first half against LSU, we looked like the best football team in the nation. It was a great feeling. Still can’t believe it happened.

I think that’s why most have us a the No 6 ranked pre-season.

fan

August 13th, 2012
8:19 pm

This is so funny. The two penitentiarys in Alabama fighting over the recruit Foster.

Whiznot

August 13th, 2012
8:21 pm

Get some schoolin’, boy. There is no NFL in your future.

George Stein

August 13th, 2012
8:24 pm

The turnovers would have never happened, BC, because y’all would have turned around and given the rock to whoever the hell was at RB that day. That game wasn’t on Murray.

BC

August 13th, 2012
8:27 pm

The odds are against Murray going Pro, mainly because of his size. But, if he puts up the kind of season 5′ 11” Russell Wilson put up at Wisconsin, 70%+ accuracy, 3200 yards, 33 td’s, 4 int’s, 2-2 against teams that finish top 25, either his Jr or Sr season, it will happen.

BITTER Q/B

August 13th, 2012
8:35 pm

AFTER the GAME AGAINST THE CHICKENS—-I will either support TURNOVER MURRAY

or ask for his HEAD on a PLATTER——-There want be a next year for Murray

–HUDSON MASON Time —-NEXT YEAR murphy

BC

August 13th, 2012
8:39 pm

Good point, the first half 3 dropped td’s, and Honey Badger’s missed call by the refs, certainly changed the offensive strategy. Up 28-0, we likely win that game, LSU just couldn’t pass effectively last year. Murray only technically cost us 7 points with his interception returned for a td, and Honey Badger only returned 1 punt for a td, but the defense just was too soft in the red zone in the 2nd half.

That 2nd half was heart breaking, we just couldn’t get a red zone stop.

That’s the difference between Alabama and everybody else, Bama only gave up 6 red zone td’s all season. Only 2 td’s against ranked teams.

Alabama’s defense only gave up a td 35% of the 17 attempts all season, and UGA gave up a td in the red zone 66% of the time.

Red zone defense td percentage in 2011:
5 td’s in 6 red zone attempts vs Boise, 83% td
2 td’s in 2 attempts vs South Carolina, 100% td
3 td’s in 3 attempts vs. LSU, 100% td

Not going to win many game giving up a td 83-100% of red zone attempts.

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

August 13th, 2012
8:40 pm

Wilson played in a no defense league

BITTER Q/B

August 13th, 2012
8:46 pm

Murray did make a couple of tough trows in the FLORDIA BEATDOWN

and he did not drop the T/D’S against LSU

—–BOTTOM LINE——-JOE MONTANA FOUND WAYS TO WIN

THERE ARE WINNERS AND LOOSERS——–MURRAY—WHERE DO YOU STAND????

PaulPaul

August 13th, 2012
8:49 pm

52 arrests and JB
If you added both your IQs together and squared them they would get lower. Shame on both of you.

uncledaddy

August 13th, 2012
8:52 pm

Good for you Aaron Murray! If things don’t work out in the arena league, you can always pursue a career in human resources.

BC

August 13th, 2012
8:56 pm

True, Murray did go 6-7 his freshman season, and 10-4 his Soph, but RG3 went 4-8 his Fresh season, then RG3 went 7-6 in 2nd seaosn as a starter, then his Jr year, RG3 went 10-4, beating 2 top 20 teams.

I think the possibility of going Pro, encourages a lot of improvement in the year before you plan on going Pro, so Murray has a lot of reason to improve, about $3 million of them, 5′ 11” Wilson wnet 6-7, 6-7, 9-4 before his last year where he went 11-3. Russell Wilson landed a $3 million contract.

Just Saying

August 13th, 2012
9:03 pm

Are there any other teams in the SEC with a QB who is such a SCHOLAR athlete? Great job AM

BC

August 13th, 2012
9:03 pm

Richt said “not a lot of seperation” between the tailbacks.

I don’t know, seems like Gurley’s 10 yards per carry average, is about 9 better than either Marshall or Samuel’s in the first scrimmage.

10 yards a carry vs. 1 yard per carry.

Pretty good seperation.

BC

August 13th, 2012
9:07 pm

It would take Murray about 50 years to earn $3 million at about $60,000 a year.

Or if he goes Pro, he could earn $3 million in 4 years.

50 years, or 4 years, I think Murray has some reason to have a big year at UGA,

why not!!

August 13th, 2012
9:07 pm

J B he might not have hit the receivers in the Fl game last year but he could probably hit the wide open door on your single wide while you are cooling the trailer off.

Berry

August 13th, 2012
9:15 pm

As usual, the dawgs are all pumped up for another run at the SEC and a national championship. The Kool-Aid is flowing in copious amounts as they make ready to mow down their cupcake opposition.
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Wait, haven’t we heard this before… as in every year?
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And before long the dreams will be just shattered illusions, victim to 3rd rate coaching, failed drug tests, DUIs, girlfriends beaten up, academic failures, and a dozen other reasons.
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So let me be the first to say so long, adios, sayonara, and adieu to the whimpering puppies, whose only hope is… are you ready for this…
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WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR!!!

Stephen Parrish

August 13th, 2012
9:29 pm

We need you to win games. Focus on that.

JB

August 13th, 2012
9:29 pm

David Greene, for all his accomplishments , yards, Td’s, Big wins, etc did not make it in the NFL. Aaron Murray does not have a signature win at UGA. Sorry, he doesn’t. I ‘m pulling for him, But he won’t even get drafted unless he has a big turn around ( personally at the position) this year.

Stephen

August 13th, 2012
9:30 pm

Enter your comments here

JB

August 13th, 2012
9:34 pm

What I want to see LESS of of Murray this year. After releasing a pass, both his hands on his helmet with that ” I can’t believe I did that look” on his face.

The Factor

August 13th, 2012
9:56 pm

@George Stein

Welcome anytime…..Obviously, not a pinhead