Thursday, February 16, 2012
The SEC's top 25 players: No. 18
By Edward Aschoff
Our first quarterback makes the list and this one just knows how to find the end zone:
No. 18: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, RSo.
2011 summary: He led the SEC -- and set a Georgia single-season record -- with 35 touchdown passes. He was also second in the league with 3,149 passing yards, throwing for 224.9 yards per game. Murray completed 59.1 percent of his passes and had a quarterback rating of 146.41. Murray was a second team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press and the SEC coaches.
Why he's here: Murray followed up his record-breaking freshmen season by leading the Bulldogs to the SEC championship game for the first time since 2005. Murray isn't the biggest quarterback around, but he's not afraid to make the tough plays. He's a gritty player and is deceptively dangerous with his legs, which helps him extend plays with his arm. Murray has the ability to make the tough throws and knows how to read defenses. Murray has taken some criticism for his decision making at times, considering the fact that he threw 14 interceptions with four coming in the Bulldogs' last two losses, but there's no question that Murray should be near the top of the quarterback list in this league. Before Murray's 2011 season, only four quarterbacks -- Tim Couch, Peyton Manning, Danny Wuerffel and Andre Woodson -- threw for more than 3,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in a single season. Those were also the only quarterbacks to throw for 35 touchdowns in a season before Murray. Murray -- if he stays healthy and remains at Georgia for all four years of his eligibility -- is on pace to break Wuerffel's SEC touchdown record of 114. He has thrown for 59 touchdowns in his two seasons as Georgia's starter.
- No. 19: Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
- No. 20: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
- No. 21: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
- No. 22: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
- No. 23: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
- No. 24: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
- No. 25: Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn