PHOTO: USA Today Sports
On Saturday night, Georgia's Aaron Murray became one of only three players in NCAA history to throw for 3,000 yards in four straight seasons. He was having a tremendous game against Kentucky as he had thrown for four touchdown passes in less than two quarters and helped Georgia get out to a 28-7 lead.
Before half-time, Murray left the field with an injury and then later left the stadium by patrol car to get x-ray's on his knee. Today, the University of Georgia sent out a press release announcing that Murray will undergo surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Murray came back for his senior season with dreams of a National Championship for Georgia but was denied early with a loss to Clemson and then set-back further by a host of injuries at the offensive skill positions. Despite not winning a National Championship or a Heisman Trophy, Murray will leave quite a legacy at Georgia and in the SEC. He finishes his career as the SEC's all-time leading passer in yardage and touchdowns. He also got past the "can't win the big one" moniker by beating two top ten teams (LSU and South Carolina).
What's next for Murray: After a full career in which he was shockingly durable, Murray now has months of rehab ahead of him. The ACL re-hab process is one that doesn't have a set time frame and is different for each athlete so there is no knowing when Murray will be back to compete for a job in the NFL. With that in mind, one now must wonder what happens to the Murray's draft stock. Pre-injury, Murray had his detractors but he did receive a "round two-round three" grade from the draft advisory board last season and that was probably where he would have fallen this year. Now we will have to wait and see if there is a team that will take a chance on Murray with a mid to late round pick not knowing how, or when, he will heal.
What's next for Georgia: Georgia has recruited very well at quarterback under Mark Richt and they do have a QB in waiting in red-shirt junior Hutson Mason. Mason replaced Murray against Kentucky and played well completing 13 of 19 passes for 189 yards and 1 TD. Georgia sits at 7-4 in what is really a lost season due to the injuries (and some poor play by a young defense). While you never want to lose a QB who has had the career that Murray has, this could be a blessing in disguise for Georgia. Mason now takes over the reigns for Georgia with two games left in the season (Georgia Tech and a bowl game). Mason will be able to get comfortable in these two games before he takes the field for Georgia as their starting QB in 2014. Georgia's opponent in that first game in 2014? Clemson. I bet Georgia would much rather have Mason with some experience under his belt then cutting his teeth in that game.