Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray ‘definitely going to think about’ NFL draft

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said Tuesday he is still "haunted" by thoughts of what could have been at the end of the SEC Championship game against Alabama. But he insists he's not spending much time thining about the NFL draft. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said Tuesday he is still "haunted" by thoughts of what could have been at the end of the SEC Championship game against Alabama. But he insists he's not spending much time thining about the NFL draft. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

ATHENS — Georgia’s Aaron Murray refuses to get into a detailed discussion about his plans after this season. “All I’m thinking about right now is Nebraska and the Capital One Bowl,” he says in various different ways. But the Bulldogs’ record-setting quarterback did allow that the prospect of entering the NFL draft after this, his redshirt junior, season is a very real and serious consideration for him.

“I’m definitely going to think about it and pray about it and sit down with my family (to discuss it),” Murray said during Georgia’s Capital One Bowl Media Day Wednesday afternoon at the Bulldogs’ football complex.  “But that’s not going to be probably until after the bowl game. I’ll sit down with my family then and really think about it. I have yet to write down anything. I like to write things down and to the pro-con thing and talk to my parents about it. I don’t want to do that until the bowl game. I just want to focus on Nebraska until that’s over. Then we can sit back and relax and discuss.”

There are many out there who will scoff at the notion. They’ll say Murray — listed at 6 foot-1 — isn’t tall enough to excel in the pro game. They’ll say he won’t get selected early enough in the 2013 NFL draft to make it worth his while. They’ll say he’ll want to come back and finish off the few career passing records he doesn’t already own.

But then there are others who vehemently believe Murray not only will make it as a pro but even project him as a “franchise player.” That was the determination of former Super Bowl coach and current NFL television analyst Tony Dungy, who recently sung Murray’s praises to a national audience on the Dan Patrick Show.

“I think if Aaron comes out, he’s a franchise quarterback,” Dungy said when Patrick pinned him down on the subject. “You get a chance to draft a guy and put him in place. And the Chiefs have some play-makers. . . .”

Patrick interrupted Dungy mid-sentence to have him clarify that he thought Murray is “a franchise quarterback.”

“I do,” he said, “because I know him.”

Dungy’s son, Eric Dungy, played with Murray and Plant High in Tampa. Eric Dungy now is a sophomore wide receiver at Oregon.

“So I know the type of worker he is,” Dungy said. “He’d pick my son up in the mornings and go throw, really early Saturday or Sunday mornings. He’s been that way his whole life, just like Peyton.”

Again, Patrick pressed Dungy.

“So you’d take him over Matt Barkley?”

“I’d take Aaron Murray,” Dungy said.

“Geno Smith?”

“I’d take Aaron Murray,” Dungy reiterated.

So who would he take if he had the No. 1 overall pick, Patrick finally asked.

“I would take Aaron Murray,” Dungy said without hesitation.

All of which is NOT to say Murray will be taken anywhere that high. Likely not. But, as they say, it takes the infatuation of only one team to make it happen.

And besides, for Murray, it’s not all about draft position.

He has already had a tremendously productive career at Georgia. A three-year starter, Murray is the SEC’s leading active player in total offensive yards (9,618, 10th in SEC history), completions (660), TD responsibility (99, fifth in SEC history), TD passes (89, which is tied for second SEC history) and passing yards (9,399). Currently, Murray leads the nation in pass efficiency at 177.2 and he was named honorable Mention All-SEC this past week.

But he has also nearly exhausted his options academically. At the end of spring semester he will be well on his way to completing requirements for a masters degree in industrial psychology. He could pursue a doctorate, perhaps, or just piddle around with his final thesis. And, of course, Georgia will be loaded on offense, so championship and record pursuits could be enticing.

Murray, again, doesn’t want to speculate too deeply at this point.

“I’m waiting to break down the pros and cons,” he said. “It’s a tough decision and I need my parents and to write everything down. That’s just the type of person I am. I don’t want to just think of things on the top of my head. I want to write things down and think about it and go from there.”

For what it’s worth, Chris Conley and some of Murray’s other teammates think he’s coming back. But Murray promises to keep them in the dark for as long as possible as well.

“Maybe I can milk a couple of dinners out of this,” Murray quipped. “They know I’m not going to talk about it or make any decisions, so they’re not going to bother me about it. But I think the whole dinner thing may work in my favor. I’m going to have to tell the offensive line, ‘Hey, it’s your turn to take me out for ice cream.”

But when talk turns to things like his much debated height — “I AM 6-1,” he insists — or draft analysts such as ESPN’s Mel Kiper say he should “go back,” Murray’s competitive nature kicks in.

“You know, he’s not the one drafting,” Murray said of Kiper’s assessment. “But I don’t really listen to all that stuff. That’s something way down the line that I’ll think about.”

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203 comments Add your comment

SouthGA Dawg

December 12th, 2012
4:32 pm

Hope he stays but still DGD

SouthGA Dawg

December 12th, 2012
4:33 pm

GO DAWGS get after that a-s……..

SouthGA Dawg

December 12th, 2012
4:37 pm

If he stays he could rewrite the record books and possibly win it all. The defense is rebuilding but the whole offense is in tact and ready. He should have good blocking next year and he is finished with school so he can dedicate all of the time to films and practice.

FRED

December 12th, 2012
4:37 pm

Just don’t like the way Murray fumbles when under pressure!

Dawg Days

December 12th, 2012
4:39 pm

Would love to see him come back. Great guy!

Inlet Dawg

December 12th, 2012
4:40 pm

Early vote from me STAY

Rascaldawg

December 12th, 2012
4:40 pm

Regardles, his dedication, leadership, and play have been outstanding. Always a dawg! Now get us a win in the bowl and get some more momentum for next year!

Vampire Bill

December 12th, 2012
4:43 pm

I hope he comes back but I would like to see what Hudson can do. He could be nasty as a second year starter if Murray leaves now. Either way its good for the dawgs !!!!

Granthams The Man!

December 12th, 2012
4:46 pm

Come back, and take the all time SEC records for TD’s and Passing yards, and win a SEC Championship. Go dawgs!!!

Remarkable

December 12th, 2012
4:47 pm

UGA will have a great season with him returning or with Mason in the fold. H Mason can do the job too.

Remarkable

December 12th, 2012
4:49 pm

Come back, and take the all time SEC records for TD’s and Passing yards, and win a SEC Championship. Go dawgs!!!
You don’t get paid for setting records. His stock will likely never be higher than it is now. He has those records and no other quarterback coming out this year can even come close.

Strat Cat Dawg

December 12th, 2012
4:50 pm

Murray as a senior would be awesome for UGA. People who work at learning get better and he was great this year. I certainly hope he stays.

BigDawg

December 12th, 2012
4:53 pm

Don ‘t go, come back and be a top five pick!

Jim

December 12th, 2012
4:57 pm

Didn’t Murray attend the Manning camp this past summer and get praised pretty good by all the Mannings? Anyone see Aaron going to Denver?

NoMoreRawDeal

December 12th, 2012
5:02 pm

Please go. So not interested in watching you flop around against South Carolina – and any other ranked team we play – again next year.

Mike Bell 790

December 12th, 2012
5:02 pm

First?

Wish he would stay, but he probably should go.

Just Stop

December 12th, 2012
5:07 pm

Clip board holder like David Greene.

Fuhgitaboutit!

Fed Up

December 12th, 2012
5:08 pm

I wonder what Chuck Oliver would say???

R.E.M.

December 12th, 2012
5:10 pm

I think this is his NFL draft. There are no really standout QB’s and he ended on a high note even though we lost – he played great. I am guessing he wants to have a stellar game against Nebraska to raise his stock. If he struggles he will probably stay. If he stays he could get hurt and ruin his NFL career. I hate to see him go but Mason deserves the time he has been waiting patiently like DJ Shockley.

Draggin' Fly

December 12th, 2012
5:14 pm

“I hope he comes back but I would like to see what Hudson can do.”

Who’s “Hudson”?

Bulldog Buck

December 12th, 2012
5:16 pm

Murray is the most accurate passer to ever play at UGA. He is smart, tough, and a leader. Our season looks better next year if he returns and UGA should begin a Heisman campaign for him. First things first, though, focusing on Nebraska.

Be Known As.........

December 12th, 2012
5:16 pm

He will be known as Practice Team Murray….doesn’t have what it takes…..can’t win the big ones.

Bills fan

December 12th, 2012
5:23 pm

Why not wait another year and mature and gain expeience? Could win a championship.

I could see making a strong argument to enter the draft if I were a running back or wide receiver as their playing careers only average a few years in the NFL. On the other hand QBs tend to play in to their mid or late thirties.

The money thing doesn’t make sense to me for a first round draftee. It’s sort of like the mentality of a person who waits to play the lottery til it reaches $300 million give or take a few milllion. Their thinking is that the are going to wait to purchase a ticket because they couldn’t live the rest of their lives on a measily $50 million.

Most of the first round draftees make several million guaranteed even if they don’t play a down.

Young man, enjoy the wonderful opportunity of playing another year in a passionate, youthful football atmosphere with a coach who is a terrific role model.

mike on lake hartwell

December 12th, 2012
5:24 pm

no way he’s leaving. too smart to leave. he knows that college
days are the greatest in his life. he’ll be back.

piermontdawgny

December 12th, 2012
5:24 pm

should stay and increase the likelihood of getting drafted higher…better guarantee money…

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 12th, 2012
5:33 pm

His NFL Stock will Never be higher than it is right now. Next year will be rebuilding year for the Defense and the Schedule is going to be more difficult. PMS MURRAY(Padding My Stats against crappy teams) has his degree and needs to BOLT fast.
When he KNEW better than the Richt Bobo Brain Trust to Spike the ball in the SEC CG he knows he can’t get better under those guys.

Murray the millionaire

December 12th, 2012
5:34 pm

leave early and get rich early…and come back later and buy Athens.

1eyedJack

December 12th, 2012
5:36 pm

Hoping he’s wearing #11 for the red and black next year. Either way.

Let's see...

December 12th, 2012
5:37 pm

…get drafted in rounds 1, 2, or 3 – make a minimum of $600K if drafted in the 3rd round, and much, MUCH more if drafted higher…or

Come back and set all records for UGA as a QB – but, possibly get hurt and miss out on the mega bucks in the NFL. (and forget about the lousy $1mil insurance policy against injury). And, if next year is as good as this year, he still has a chance at being drafted quite high.

Plus, coming back you MIGHT finish your PhD, but probably not, and if not drafted high next year, he will still have a minimum 6 figure salary to go to in his chosen field.

Yes, it is a tough decision, so his current stand to let things be until after Jan 1 is correct, and the best of luck to him in choosing which way to go…

1eyedJack

December 12th, 2012
5:37 pm

It ain’t like he’s got to buy Momma a new house or he’s got a baby mama to support.

Dawg Talk

December 12th, 2012
5:42 pm

Dawg

December 12th, 2012
5:43 pm

Our offense would be loaded if Murray came back? Our D underperformed this year and maybe could be even better next year. Our special teams will be better next year, you gotta figure we will have a few less missed XPs and FGs. Who knows? We could be a better overall team next year if Murray comes back. MURRAY COME BACK!

Dawg

December 12th, 2012
5:44 pm

That first sentence was a statement, not a question!

Bartowdawg

December 12th, 2012
5:50 pm

I love Aaron, but with a smaller than usual crop of top flight college QB’s eligible for the NFL draft, he should go and grab some NFL cash. HUTSON Mason is a great QB in his own right, and should be able to win lots of games with our LOADED offense next year. Aaron = DGD forever, but go for the ca$h brother!

hop

December 12th, 2012
5:50 pm

murray will not gain any more by staying another year in college!

If he is about winning,uga will not be a good choice with a depleted defense.

He needs to go to the next level and learn how to play with the big boys,

It is time for mason to show what he can do!

RunninWithTheDawgs

December 12th, 2012
5:52 pm

I think Dungy is right. Aaron has made it to the NFL ready point and I think he would go in the first round in the 2013 draft. I’d REALLY like to see him stay, but Hutson Mason is probably the best back up we’ve had in years and with the running backs and offensive line we’ve got Mason will do fine. I would go if it were me, but I like money and the NFL is where it’s at. NCAA football is rough and he could have a carreer ending injury next year playing for the Dawgs. Go get the money Aaron. We’ll be OK. GO DAWGS !

grip

December 12th, 2012
5:54 pm

Hutson mason is a better fit for the dawgs, Murray being accurate has not exactly helped the team win games against the best opponents. The dawg nation caring so much about breaking silly records is exactly our problem, we care about everything except the most important thing……….he was serviceable and beat the snot out of weak opponents…….please

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 12th, 2012
5:57 pm

Tomorrow is NEVER a given.
Saying UGa will be better next year is just STUPID. It is as Stupid as Preseason Rankings.
You Never know what players could go to the NFL early. You never know which players might get arrested or failout and not be on the team come next Sept.
Murray could say he is going to stay and then get in an accident over the summer and not play for UGa or the NFL.
Wow he could have all the SEC records and not ever make it in the NFL. Great to have your name in the record books but better to have your name on a Big Bank Account. Zeier and Greene have their name in those books too but they Got a Little NFL money and held the clipboard. Murray wants more I suspect. Want to try to be Tarkington or Stafford maybe Q. Carter or even Zeier or Greene.

Old Dawg

December 12th, 2012
6:05 pm

I really like Aaron Murray. He’s a great player and a great student, which makes him an attractive student-athlete for the school to use today and in the future for recruiting purposes.

He can make all the throws. He can read defenses and make audibles at the line of scrimmage.

My major concern is his physical build and how it will hold up in the NFL. Yes, he takes hits and jump right back into the game. But look at the pounding Jay Cutler has taken this year with the Bears and their abysmal offensive line. Remember how quickly Andre Ware was out of the league with an equally abysmal line at Detroit. And there are numerous other QBs who have suffered the same fate.

The NFL is a meat grinder for any player, but especially quarterbacks. If Murray has a chance as a professional QB, it’s in the Canadian Football League. The players aren’t as big, a few steps slower and the field is wider, which will allow him to use his mobility. Some might point to Joe Theisman, who has a similar build, and his work in the NFL, but that was 20 years ago. The same for Doug Flutie. Pat Haden, almost an identical-sized QB to Murray, played in the league 40 years ago.

Like I wrote in my opening paragraph, I like Murray a lot and wish him well. I’m just very cautious about his chances of success in today’s NFL.

RunninWithTheDawgs

December 12th, 2012
6:06 pm

Aaron is a good upstanding young man and puts a lot of love and faith into family. I believe his parents will have the most influence on his decision and that’s how it should be.

dmr

December 12th, 2012
6:13 pm

Murray is a worker, a studier, a thinker. We’ve seen great athletes play in the NFL at QB who have 5 cent heads. Murray’s only drawback to some GM’s may be his height. That will not change. Murray should realize his own dreams. If he dreams to be an NFL QB, jump into the draft with both feet.

Murray has obviously studied hard in college and planned for a life after football. Georgia may have given Murray everything it can, just as Murray has given Georgia almost everything he can.

In my estimation, time to move on. However, the choice is Murray’s and I’ll be behind him no matter what.

Dawgs 32

December 12th, 2012
6:21 pm

Mason has done nothing! To say UGA will be the same with or without Murray is completely ignorant! Murray has broken many Uga and Sec records. He destroyed the Uga touchdown record, and He is the first Sec Qb to throw for 3000 yards 3 years in a row. He is a great leader and the team loves him. The leadership Murray has alone will be hard to replace! How do you replace an Aaron Murray? I’ve seen Mason play at G-day , he struggles. If Murray leaves……expect Gurshall to have 3000 yards rushing! Because They will be running a lot

Wolfman

December 12th, 2012
6:22 pm

He makes too many bad decisions when pressured.

Rick James

December 12th, 2012
6:23 pm

GT Bob say Aaron Murray will never play in the NFL and he knows more about pro footbal than Tony Dungy and more about Georgia football Buck Belue..Maybe one day he’ll tell us why he cant solve Tech’s football problems..Oops I forgot,Tech’s problems are its tough academics.

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 12th, 2012
6:24 pm

OLD DAWG…..points well taken but Take the NFL MONEY and who cares if you Play a Year or a Career. Murray has his degree the ONLY thing UGa offers is lines in the Record Books and a chance to get HURT(like in the NFL) for free in college. I love players to stay to finish a degree but Murray has that. It is time to get Paid.

David C

December 12th, 2012
6:26 pm

Great news AJ McCarron is coming back for his Senior Year!!. Bama will be in the Thick of the National Championship Race While Georgia will be breaking in a new QB…

steve furney

December 12th, 2012
6:32 pm

Aaron should go Pro – maybe, them there DAWGS can find another Q.B. who can beat the TIDE.

OkieDawg

December 12th, 2012
6:33 pm

I hope he comes back and finishes his degree in industrial-organizational psychology. It’s actually a doctoral program in which students can get a master’s degree along the way. Next year he can go and see what he can do in the NFL. I think that by coming back he will build up a lot of goodwill at UGA. I think his future as a head coach in the SEC is BRIGHT. His degree is perfect, he is a leader of ballers, he is smart, he knows football and he has the record of success as a player.

I think he can play in the NFL. But I believe he has a future as a coach. And he can make a butt load of money as the HC at The University of Georgia. Murray is a DGD.

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 12th, 2012
6:35 pm

@David C…………….hahah…………..McCarron in the NFL. I think JPW was better than McCarron. The NFL isn’t really excited about Bama QB’s. Murray has done a lot more to impress the NFL than McCarron.

Put in Timeout by Ken Sugiura,Filtered by Mark Bradley, Banned once by Bill King & Chip Towers but only slightly loved by Jeff Schultz.

December 12th, 2012
6:38 pm

OKIE….then Go NFL for the money and 1 contract. Finish his Masters/Doctorate when he moves into coaching in 3-5 years.