The fourteen coaches in the Southeastern Conference made quite a statement this week, voting Georgia Bulldogs senior quarterback Aaron Murray as 1st team All-SEC over the likes of Alabama’s AJ McCarron and, most notably, reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel.
Murray is coming off of an excellent 2012 campaign in which he threw for 3,893 yards with 36 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions, but the statement made by Murray’s selection does not appear to be an honor for the former Plant High School (Tampa, FL) signal caller, but rather a slight at “Johnny Football”, whose offseason has consisted of partying and a well-publicized investigation regarding autograph signings.
Although some may see the choice of Murray as an attempted “wakeup call” for Manziel, there are several reasons that support Murray’s selection: After all, Murray is a senior, and for all intents and purposes the All-SEC team amounts to nothing but a “pat on the back” for a job well done over the years. Also, Murray was not exactly several pegs below Manziel or McCarron for that manner, as he threw for more yards (Manziel: 3,706; McCarron: 2,933) and more touchdown passes (Manziel: 21; McCarron: 26) than both of the signal callers from the West division.
If anything can be taken out of this, it’s that Aaron Murray should very well be considered a candidate for the Heisman Trophy this season. Although he is often overlooked by football fans for some of the other very talented quarterbacks in the conference, Murray has been a tremendous part of the Bulldogs’ success over the last three years and were very close to playing for—and more than likely winning—the National Championship last season.
Murray’s Heisman hopes lay in the very start of this season, as Georgia starts the season with back-to-back matchups with the Palmetto State’s best in a trip to Death Valley on August 31st to face the Clemson Tigers and a home game the following Saturday against the Steve Spurrier-led South Carolina Gamecocks. If Murray faces these two talented teams and dissects them accordingly, he can consider himself one of the leading Heisman candidates; if the twenty-two year old struggles, expect for fans and the media to openly criticize why on Earth this guy was chosen over Manziel and McCarron.
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