Thursday, February 7, 2013
The SEC's best 25 players: No. 13
By Edward Aschoff
We finally get back to the offensive side of the ball in our countdown with one of the nation's best quarterbacks:
No. 13: Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, RJr.
2012 summary: Murray passed for a league-high 3,893 passing yards and 36 touchdowns. He also tossed just 10 interceptions. He ranked second nationally with a quarterback rating of 174.8. Murray also rushed for three touchdowns on the season.
Most recent ranking: Ranked No. 10 in the 2012 preseason countdown.
Making the case for Murray: Murray might not have been voted as a first- or second-team member on either 2012 All-SEC team, but he had another solid year throwing the pigskin for the Bulldogs. With his 3,893 passing yards in 2012, he became the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for 3,000 yards in three seasons. Murray has taken a lot of flack during his career for his inability to perform in big games, but he made strides last fall. While he really struggled in a blowout loss to South Carolina, he rebounded from a rough first half against Florida (three interceptions), to top the Gators with a game-winning touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, while throwing zero picks in the process. He then played one of his best games in a heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. After the first half against Florida, Murray finished the season throwing 20 touchdowns to two interceptions. He threw for 265 yards with a touchdown and an interception in the loss to Alabama. He then turned around to tie a season-high with 427 passing yards and also threw a season-high five touchdowns in Georgia's 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Murray passed for 300-plus yards five times and dipped under 200 yards just once all year. If the Dawgs had beaten Alabama in Atlanta, there's a chance he might have received some real Heisman love with the way he played during the second half of the season. Murray has some haters out there, but there's no question that he silenced some with his play in 2012.
- No. 14: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU, RJr.
- No. 15: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia, Jr.
- No. 16: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M, Jr.
- No. 17: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri, Jr.
- No. 18: Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida, Jr.
- No. 19: Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU, RJr.
- No. 20: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama, Fr.
- No. 21: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee, Jr.
- No. 22: Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida, Sr.
- No. 23: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt, Jr.
- No. 24: Matt Elam, S, Florida, Jr.
- No. 25: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State, Sr.