ATHENS — Quarterback Aaron Murray has never taken a snap on game day, and he still has his nose in the playbook whenever possible trying to firm up his grasp on the offense. But despite his novice status, he’s tasked with a job most freshmen quarterbacks aren’t given: Teacher.
Despite his lack of experience, Murray is the most veteran quarterback on the roster, which means he has had to take true freshman Hutson Mason under his wing this summer. As it turns out, Murray has found the additional responsibility to be a good experience all around.
“It’s definitely weird,” Murray said. “I’m still learning the playbook. I know it pretty well, but there’s still tons of stuff to learn and engrave in my mind. But I feel the more I teach them, the better I learn the offense. If you’re able to teach it, it really shows how much you’ve learned. So I feel like it’s not only beneficial to him but beneficial to me, too.”
So just how much progress has Mason made in his first few weeks on campus? That’s tough to tell, Murray said, but so far, the so-called veteran likes what he sees from the new player.
“It’s just like with me where it’s going to be a learning curve to learn the playbook,” Murray said. “But he’s willing to put in the time. I make up little quizzes for them and test them on what they can do on the field, and he’s done a tremendous job of picking things up. So I’m pretty much in charge of him over the summer and his learning progress, and I’m going to make sure he knows as much as he can so that the first day of camp, (offensive coordinator Mike) Bobo will be pleased with his progress.”
While A.J. Green has graced the cover of numerous magazines and earned plenty of preseason hype as a potential All-American, he hasn’t been the most talked-about receiver in Georgia’s locker room. That honor goes to Tavarres King.
The sophomore receiver has bulked up during the offseason and has turned plenty of heads during summer workouts.
“The main person I’ve seen improve the most is TK,” cornerback Brandon Boykin said. “I remember guarding him last year — I mean you can just tell his releases are a lot quicker and he’s working with his hands a lot better.”
King has added almost 10 pounds of muscle to his frame after working with a personal trainer in Atlanta following spring practice and changing his diet after working with team nutritionist Rex Bradberry.
The results for King have been obvious, both on and away from the field, Murray said.
“I was actually talking to him the other day, and he told me, ‘Let’s have a big year,’ and he’s pumping me up, I’m pumping him up,” Murray said. “He’s worked extremely hard in the weight room getting bigger. He went to some big-time trainer, and he’s done a tremendous job of really getting strong for the season. All the guys look great, but especially him.”