If you were reading Tuesday’s football notebook closely — and all the way to the end — you may have noticed that Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray was named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works team. I know at least some of you read it because I heard from you.
A few folks thought I was burying good news at the bottom in the “Etc.” section of the notebook. That certainly was the not the intention. The fact is, I got word of Murray’s accomplishment kind of late in the day after all my interviews at the weekly news conference had been conducted — including a session with Murray — and I was committed to a lot of other news items by then. UGA’s actual news release on the Good Works award didn’t arrive in my email inbox until 8:33 p.m.
I tell you that to say this in regard to this particular award: It IS a big deal. The fact that Murray is the 14th Georgia player to receive this national award for community service and exemplary citizenship — it goes to just 11 Division 1 players in the nation each year — is an even bigger deal. That’s the most of any school.
So I wanted to give you a little more detail on Murray’s latest accomplishment, which says nothing of his record-setting abilities on the football field. . . .
“This is an unbelievable honor,” Murray said in UGA’s release. “Coach Richt really stresses giving back to the community, especially here in Athens. It’s such a great community that gives all our University of Georgia teams amazing support. It’s always great to give back with trips to camps we visit in the summer, hospitals throughout the year or other organizations that make a difference.”
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the college football’s premier service honors. It is intended to shine a spotlight on the positive, off-the-field impact that a select group of student-athletes have on their communities. There were 117 players nominated from 35 states and a panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and college football media selected two 11-member teams – one featuring players competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and the other a combined team representing Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and Divisions II, III and the NAIA.
Fans will have the opportunity to vote for Murray as the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain by visiting ESPN.com and searching “Good Works.” There you can learn more about this year’s team members and their charitable accomplishments by viewing player profiles on the website. The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a special youth football clinic leading up to the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Said Georgia coach Mark Richt: “Since the day he arrived on campus, Aaron has been an outstanding representative of our football program and Georgia. He has excelled on the field, in the classroom and in the community. This honor is well deserved.”
Murray, a redshirt junior, is in his third season as the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback. After completing a school-record 35 touchdown passes last season, Murray has passed for eight TDs in Georgia’s first three games this season. He is the SEC’s leading active player in total offensive yards (7,318), completions (498), TD responsibility (75), TD passes (67) and passing yards (7,040).
Murray received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology in May and is currently pursuing a master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.
As for community activities, Murray’s lengthy ledger of includes volunteering with Home Runs for Hometown Rivals, a softball game at UGA’s Foley Field for Special Olympians; Extra Special People’s “Big Hearts Pageant,” a fundraiser for the organization assisting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families; Wheelchair Football Championships, the state championship organized by the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs (AAASP); Read Across America, the national program to read a story to young students to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Seuss; Rolling with the Dawgs, a bowling fundraiser for the Healing Place Of Athens, an Athens-area organization designed to provide their clients encouragement and support while recovering from homelessness and addiction; Camp Sunshine visitation, a camp that provides recreational, educational and support programs for children with cancer and their families; Bulldogs Battling Breast Cancer Golf Tournament, an event designed to raise awareness and money for research for a cure to breast cancer; and UGA Catholic Center 5K Human Race, an event that benefits a trio of charities. He also has visited local elementary and middle schools and hospitals in Athens, Atlanta and Tampa.
Georgia’s previous Good Works Team honorees are: