Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger both committed to the Georgia Bulldogs for the 2009 season, and after the departure of Matt Stafford, everybody is looking to the future to see what’s in store for the Georgia Bulldogs this year. But not so fast. You have a fifth year senior in Joe Cox that’s more than ready to take the helm and has already been awarded the starting position for 2009. So either Aaron Murray or Zach Mettenberger will take over in 2010? Not so fast, again! You have Logan Gray, a sophomore, a close second behind Cox. But let me tell ya, it’s gonna be all that Gray can do to hold off the two recruits behind him for the starting job in 2010 and beyond – and maybe even for the backup spot in 2009.
Aaron Murray – Georgia Bulldogs – A True Freshman Gunslinger
Aaron Murray was going to be the ESPNU 150 top prospect in 2009, until a dislocated ankle and broken fibula required surgery over the summer. But Aaron says he back and feels great – the leg is healed, and he’s ready to put it all behind him and show what he can do. Aaron took a big chance returning early after the injury to try to help his high school team win a state championship – and succeeded. Aaron Murray was quoted in the Bulldogs Blog:
“I came probably a little too fast, but my goal was to win a state championship, so I had to do whatever I could to get out there and win that. It was a little bit of a risk, but it ended up paying off in the end. We won a state championship and now I’m here healthy. I’m definitely blessed that nothing bad happened, so now I can compete for a national championship.”
As quoted in The Insider:
Aaron is an ideal blend of gunslinger and athlete – and has a very strong arm. Has the best, quickest release of any passer in his class, bar none. He puts excellent velocity on his deep out routes and can fit throws into tight spots. Has a quick snap release, quick feet, great speed, good agility, and can throw on the run. In fact, he seems to be at his best when rolling out of the pocket. He’s tough and gritty, and has a knack for improvising.
His style and personality has even been compared to that of Brett Favre – including the confidence and the will to win. As one of the top prospects in 2009, it’s going to be tough to hold this kid back in 2010 when competing for the top spot with Logan Gray and Zach Mettenberger. He’s just got so much athleticism, so many intangibles, and such a great arm that it’s going to be hard to look at this kid as a sophomore and not think an SEC or possibly a national championship could be looming on the horizon if this kid comes anywhere near his quarterbacking potential. He’s going to be a fun one to watch for sure.
Zach Mettenberger – Georgia Bulldogs – A True Freshman with NFL Style
Zach Mettenberger is quite different from Aaron Murray. Zach is more of an NFL style pocket passer with tremendous size, great arm strength, poise in the pocket, and the ability to stand in there and take a hit to make a play. He doesn’t have the ability to make plays with his legs the way Murray does though. Mettenberger is going to hang in there as long as he can and try to throw the ball downfield if at all possible. He’s a little more one-dimensional and will definitely be better suited to an NFL-style offense of good balance between the run and the pass and a good bit of play-action worked into the mix.
But without a doubt, Zach Mettenberger has the best arm of any of the freshmen quarterbacks to come out in 2009. He’s one of the year’s best passers, and although he may not be what one would call a “dynamic playmaker” or big on improvising, he is also going to be less prone to making a big mistake on a broken play vs. an unpredictable gunslinger behind center. And in the end, when it all comes down to it, the quarterback’s decision making is what makes or breaks a team. It doesn’t matter if you make big plays with your arm or with your feet, as long as you make the plays, and avoid the big mistakes.
Without a doubt, the Georgia Bulldogs are drowning in talent at the quarterback position for many years to come. The competition will always be tight between Murray, Mettenberger, and Gray – and you can be sure that whoever is on the field is there not only to “hold down the fort”, but to take the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC, and quite possibly to the top of the BCS.