Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

NFL draft: UGA QB Aaron Murray hopes to shake off rust by Pro Day

If Aaron Murray were the type to dwell on things, he would have felt the sting of disappointment longer than five minutes.

The redshirt senior quarterback at Georgia injured his knee against Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 23 and left the game. He was in the hospital until 1 a.m. the next day, when the MRI revealed he had torn his right ACL.

By Wednesday, he had already had surgery and started his rehab process.

“There was no time to feel bad for myself,” Murray said.

Despite the injury, Murray is still considered a top-10 quarterback in this year’s draft class. But whereas most prospects are sharpening their blades in the months leading up to the draft, Murray has some rust on his tools, which he hopes to knock off in time for Georgia’s April 16th Pro Day.

“(The trainers) have been impressed with rehab so far. They feel I’m ahead of the game,” Murray said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I’m running, dropping, doing cuts, jumping. I’d say I’m about 75-80 percent, which is pretty good for right now. We’re feeling by the time I get to Pro Day I’ll be at 90-100 percent.”

He’s still a far cry from the Murray that holds every meaningful SEC passing record. He has more completions (921), passing yards (13,166) and touchdowns (121) than any quarterback in the storied conference’s history.

Murray started in every game in which he played, and he also became the first QB in conference history to throw for at least 3,000 yards in all four seasons. He hit the 3,000-yard mark in 2013 without playing in the regular season finale or the bowl game due to injury.

His journey back to health is documented on NFL.com in a series with Gillette called “Pressure Points.” He, former UNC tight end Eric Ebron and former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney are followed as they prepare mentally and physically for the combine and the draft.

But Murray has a different perspective than Ebron and Clowney—two players who are locks for the first round of the draft. Instead of bench pressing and running the 40-yard dash, Murray continues to train and strengthen his knee, which kept him out of participating in the Senior Bowl and combine.

He still went to both events, though. At the Senior Bowl he did everything but take the field, and at the combine he met with several teams and dissected defenses for coaches on white boards.

“The great thing is I’ve been able to interact with coaches and meet with them at the Senior Bowl and combine and let them pick my brain a little bit,” Murray said. “I know a plus for me is that I have 52 games to watch. I think I have the most film of anyone in this draft of games played and started.”

Also working in Murray’s favor is his experience in a pro-style offense. As a four-year starter in Mark Richt’s Georgia offense, Murray mastered the offense as well as any other player in major college football.

He averaged one interception per 36 attempts in his career and less than one per game. Meanwhile, he threw a touchdown once per 12 attempts, or more than two per game.

Murray didn’t end up at Georgia by accident either. One of the top quarterback prospects coming out of high school, Murray had the Bulldogs and Florida in his final two, and working in Georgia’s favor was the pro-style offense against Florida’s spread offense.

Murray has talent that could see him go as high as the third round. And he knows how well he performs in six weeks at his Pro Day will go a long way in determining that.

“I’ve been hearing mid round a lot,” Murray said. I think a lot of guys are skeptical about the knee. I got to go out there on Pro Day and see if that improves my stock.”

Jones: 704-358-5323; Twitter: @jjones9
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
CharlotteObserver.com