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April 23, 2008
One of the top quarterbacks in the country is now set to make his decision. After over 50 schools extended offers to Aaron Murray out of Tampa (Fla.) Plant, he is ready to pick the one school that is best for him.
Murray is a true student-athlete. He is not only a highly thought of four-star prospect with a long list of offers in hand, but he also holds an astounding 4.46 GPA while taking three AP classes with the others being gifted.
On the field as a junior, he threw for over 4,000 yards and ran for another 900 yards while participating in a total of 60 touchdowns. He went on to be named 4A Mr. Football in Florida in 2007.
Currently, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound quarterback is rated as the number 48 player in the country on Rivals, and he was the first QB chosen to be part of the Elite 11 QB competition later this summer.
After UGA's Spring Game
? Murray's Final Three: Florida, Georgia, and UCLA.
He visited the Gators a couple of weeks ago, and the week before that he visited both UCLA and Georgia. The Gators, Bulldogs, and Bruins all have a shot, but many think it is down to the two SEC programs.
? We talked with FlaVarsity.com publisher Michael Langston about Murray and he agreed on it being a battle between the SEC rivals.
"I think he had a really good visit to UCLA, and I think he loved everything he saw there, but I don't know if a UCLA offense fits him like a Florida or Georgia," explained Langston.
"I think it is down to Georgia and Florida in my opinion. I think when you look at all of the pros and cons of each school, both Georgia and Florida have exactly what he is looking for. I think UCLA showed him a great time, but at the end of the day, I think it will be one of those two (UF or UGA)."
Langston went on to talk about Murray as a player on the field and a person of great character off of the field.
"The thing about this kid is, he learns things so fast. I have never seen a kid pick up things so fast. He went out there and picked up the Plant offense very fast, and he is a very smart kid, and a very good student."
"He signifies what a team player is too. I have to beg him to talk about himself; he will not talk about himself because he always wants to talk about his teammates. That is just the type of kid he is. And no matter what school he goes to, he is going to do well because of his personality and his drive. He is always pushing to get better and the kid just has a lot of talent."
? The Rivals100 QB has been impressive at numerous camps over the years as well, and Rivals Southeastern Recruiting Analyst Barton Simmons saw him recently in Gainesville at the NIKE Camp.
"The first thing that comes to mind is his height, and how that is really the one red flag about Murray, but I do not really think that is an issue," Simmons stated. "I think he is big enough, he is built really well for a quarterback, he is a strong kid, and when you look at his ability to throw the ball, he is just such a natural passer."
"He has a really quick delivery, he has a nice release, and he is great on the run. Throwing outside of the pocket is one area that he really impresses me. He looks really comfortable when throwing on the run, and he has great athleticism. He has shown good touch, and he maintains good accuracy."
"One guy off the top of my head that Aaron has a lot of the same qualities as is Drew Brees. Another guy that does not have that 6-foot-5 height, but he has a nice release, and he will find a way to get the ball to the receivers with accuracy."
? National Analyst Barry Every used to work in the football office at the University of Georgia, so we caught up with Every to see if he thought Murray would fit in the Bulldog offense if he picked the Dawgs.
"I think he is very similar to Matthew Stafford," Every said. "Obviously, he is not as tall as Matthew, and his arm is not quite as strong, but he can still make almost every throw. He might be a little more athletic that Matthew even though he is fleet of foot for a guy that size. I think Aaron Murray is mobile, so if he goes to Georgia, and they want to run some of the read-option, then I think he will be able to do that."
"I would say that you can see it in his eyes when you talk to him that he is a natural leader, so that would be one of his strengths. Secondly, as I alluded to earlier, he can make most of the throws. He can make short throws, he can make touch passes to backs out of the backfield, he can throw deep, and he can throw on the run while running either right or left. That would be strength number two. Number three would be his footwork. He has very good feet. He plays in an offense that is fairly complicated, so he is going to be a little more advanced than most kids coming out of high school."
? Now, where will Murray end up, who will he choose, what colors will he be wearing over the next four to five years? Another National Recruiting Analyst is known for making predictions, so we caught up with Mike Farrell to get his thoughts on this top signal caller's decision.
"I expect Aaron Murray to commit to Georgia," said Farrell. "The last I heard, I think it was 75 percent Georgia, 25 percent Florida with UCLA out of it."
"If he does go to Georgia, then Georgia will get a very accurate passer that can move around. He is not going to run the ball too much, but he is athletic, and he can keep plays alive."
"He is a blue chip quarterback, and if he goes to Georgia, then they will be getting someone who can compete early. With Matthew Stafford having possibly two years left, and maybe only one if he has a big junior year, then Aaron is someone that will step right in and compete. He is confident and he loves to compete."
Talking about Urban Meyer
"It is weird because when I first talked to Aaron, starting down in Tallahassee (the 2007 NIKE Camp at FSU) before anything had started, and then later when I talked to him, he always said that Florida was his dream school," said Langston. "He said that he loved Florida, and that he had always been a Florida fan."
"He always indicated that he liked Florida a lot, and then I talked to him at the NIKE Camp in Gainesville last weekend, and he still liked Florida a lot, but he kind of changed a little bit. He said that Florida was never his dream school, but that he really liked how they used the quarterbacks. That was really interesting right there, and it really caught me by surprise."
"I think the latest buzz down here now is that Georgia has made a very strong push for him. He went up to Georgia for his first visit, and he was just blown away. I think he was absolutely blown away, and then he went over there again, and I think Georgia has an excellent shot as they have made a very strong push to get him."
"He could still go either way to Florida or Georgia, but the big buzz down here is just about how strong of a push Georgia has made for him."
Here is the scoop on Murray's decision.
? LOCATION: Tampa, Florida ? Plant High School
? TIME: 11am ET
? FINALISTS: Florida, Georgia, and UCLA
? LIVE UPDATES HERE: UGASports Recruiting Board - THE VAULT