Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray (11) warms up prior to the 2012 SEC Championship game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
ATHENS, Ga. -- With the NFL Draft front and center - - it is impossible not to think of UGA's fine senior QB to be Aaron Murray. He could have gone pro and made a lot of money.
Murray decided to stay in Athens and now the bar of expectation has been raised for the Bulldog season of 2013. On a campus of almost 35 thousand students -- he is the most famous, the "Big Man on Campus."
In state of almost 10,000,000 people he is a household name. And with fame comes self-imposed restriction out of personal necessity. Aaron Murray lives not as a 22 year old student/athlete these days. But more as celebrity-at-large, very large.
Aaron Murray's Twitter page has over 84K followers.
He recently tweeted this:
"Always drive by one frat house and see them throwing the ball around. Think they would get mad if I joined in?"
But he knows he can't do that anymore- - fame, notoriety, responsibility, precludes just being one of the guys.
Murray says," It's funny to drive and see guys throwing the ball something I have grown up doing my whole life doing and now the only time I play is at practice or during the game."
Playing QB at UGA has always been a big deal -- but nothing like it is now.
"My brother and sister go to UGA I hang with them a lot. I try to avoid conflict and try to avoid areas where a lot of people are and try to live a normal life," Murray said.
What does normal mean in Aaron Murray's world? It's hard to define. But this we know -- the NFL will have to wait another year.
Perfection, though -- is something everyone seems to demand in their QB. Last October after an early season loss to South Carolina and poor play, Murray's rented home was egged.
And at the same time his father in Tampa was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Last season will be forever defined by the SEC Championship game vs. Alabama. The Dawgs came out only a few seconds and yards short of a national title shot.
So here we are four months away from a new season with massive expectations for Georgia and Aaron Murray.
Aaron says he stays in contact with most of the former UGA QB's- - -Shockley, Greene, Zeire and others. They help him hold his responsibilities in perspective. This fall is going to be a lot of fun.