Murray for Heisman? Georgia will let QB speak for himself

semerson@macon.comJuly 11, 2013 

ATHENS - Last month, with a decent amount of fanfare, Northern Illinois launched a 2013 Heisman Trophy campaign for its quarterback, Jordan Lynch. The school created a web site and a Twitter handle, and re-launched a Facebook page, all dedicated to pushing Lynch's Heisman chances. And it did so by letting everyone know about it, blasting out an e-mail to college football media members.

This isn't unusual, and schools usually get creative. Two years ago Baylor sent media members Robert Griffin III trading cards. Last year Kansas State sent out Collin Klein band-aids, and Texas A&M created a web site for eventual winner Johnny Manziel.

So what should we expect from Georgia to promote Aaron Murray, or even Todd Gurley?

Not much. Such an all-out campaign isn't really deemed necessary, says Claude Felton, UGA's associate athletics director for communications.

"Today is a different age than the days of what many remember and what is perceived a as the traditional 'Heisman Campaign,' " Felton said in an e-mail on Thursday. "The most important things in my view are name recognition, being on television, and playing well when you are on TV. Name recognition is not an issue with Aaron, who has been around now four years.

"He's the only QB in SEC history to throw for more than 3,000 yards three consecutive years already. Virtually all our games are on television. Three of our first four games this fall are against teams potentially in the nation's pre-season top ten--Clemson, South Carolina, and LSU. We'll see how things stand at the end of September."

Felton said UGA has done those traditional Heisman campaigns in the past, but that was before the proliferation of TV.

That doesn't mean Georgia doesn't like to promote its players. Over the past few days it has happily sent out releases after players were put on the so-called "watch lists" for preseason awards.

But when it comes to something as big as the Heisman, as well as other individual awards, the school puts its trusts in voters, assuming they're already getting all the information they need via free media.

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