Murray knew 'pretty much all along' he was returning

semerson@macon.comJanuary 8, 2013 

ATHENS - As it turns out, Aaron Murray's decision on whether to return to Georgia shouldn't have been that dramatic.

"I pretty much knew all along, deep down inside, that I wanted to come back," Murray said Tuesday, less than 48 hours after announcing his decision to return for his senior year. "I didn't want to base my decision on emotion. I really wanted to let that SEC game go by a little bit before I really made my decision. Because after that game, I'm (like): I'm coming back, I'm coming back. I really needed to let that game go, play another game, great to get that win, and clear my head."

He wrote down the pros and cons of the decision, spoke to his parents, spoke to people like Tony Dungy, Archie Manning D.J. Shockley, David Greene and Orson Charles. Murray said the best advice he received from people was to not have any regrets if he left. And he felt like if he left he would have always wondered what would have happened in his senior year.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to be a four-year starter," Murray said. "It's a rare thing to be able to start four years, especially at a big-time SEC school, so I'm definitely blessed to have that opportunity. And just excited about our team next year. We've grown so much over these last two seasons, we've been able to put Georgia back on the map. So it's great to be a part of that, and hopefully continue to get better."

That said, Murray said he did look into his draft stock, saying he got a grade of second or third round from the NFL draft advisory committee. He was asked Tuesday what another year will do to improve his stock.

"I don't know, hopefully somehow I grow another two inches, that'd be great," said Murray, who is listed at 6-foot-1. "I think we're incorporating some yoga this offseason, so some stretching may help out a little bit. ... I'm not worried about where I get drafted next season. I think you play a dangerous game when you think about that. My No. 1 goal right now is to continue to get better. I still have some areas of improvement and things I need to work on as a quarterback, and do whatever I can to make sure this team gets some championships, gets some rings next year."

Murray also said he and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo had a 30-minute conversation over the phone, while Murray was home in Tampa, in part to discuss next season. He reiterated comments he made before the bowl, that his top offseason goal will be to improve his mobility, and get back to being the kind of dual-threat he was before his freshman season.

"I feel like I've still got a lot of improvement to make as a quarterback," he said. "I've got some areas that I need to continue to develop. I've talked to coach Bobo and coach Richt about it too, and they're really excited about me coming back, and also continuing to improve. ... Really excited about my future, and what I can do to continue to improve as a quarterback, and make sure that come next season, by the end of the year, that I will be as complete a quarterback as I can be heading into the NFL."

Murray said the BCS championship game was "painful to watch," even though he was rooting for Alabama.

"It showed the nation how good we were, I guess, to be able to play Alabama the way we did," Murray said. "It really shows the nation that we are back. Georgia is back."

Of course, one of the more discussed parts of the BCS game as far as is Murray is concerned is his exchange with Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron: When McCarron's girlfriend was featured on the telecast, causing Brent Musberger to gush, Murray tweeted that she needed to become a Dawg fan. McCarron responded on Tuesday morning that Murray needed to win more.

"It got crazy," Murray said, his face turning red as he laughed. "So yeah, I don't really have much to say about that. My phone 10 minutes ago was on like 20 percent battery, and it's only been off my charger for four hours. My phone's been blowing up for hours."

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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