HOOVER, Ala.- As expected, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray laughed off the assertion by South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney that Murray, among other quarterbacks, is "scared" of him.
"You know, I think the word fear was mis-used for respect. (I) definitely have a lot of respect for him," Murray said. "He's one of if not the best player in the country. Unbelievable player. Very talented player. A guy that you really do have to gameplan for and set a plan for him.
"I'm definitely not scared. But definitely respect greatly what he's able to do on the field."
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Speaking on Tuesday at media days, Clowney said Murray and two other quarterbacks - Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson - were "scared of him." Clowney, entering his junior year and expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft, has knocked around Murray early and often in their two games.
But Murray, playing behind an offensive line that has had issues, has been hit by defenders other than Clowney.
"I enjoy getting hits. I'm not scared of getting hit by anyone, by any means," Murray said. "I'm not worried about who says what, or this and that. All we can do is keep working hard and having a successful summer, like we've had so far. ... Like I said, no fear and all respect for what he's able to do on the field."
Georgia head coach Mark Richt also shrugged off the comments. He said he got to know Clowney "a bit" during some awards banquets, when Clowney and Jarvis Jones were hanging out together.
"He's got a good sense of humor," Richt said of Clowney. "I think there probably were a bunch of guys scared of him. I'd be scared of him if I were playing against him."
And Murray's close friend and housemate Arthur Lynch, the starting tight end, said there was probably only one person of whom Murray was truly afraid.
"I think he's more afraid of his mother, personally," Lynch said. "I'm more afraid of my mom. But there's no doubt Clowney is one of the best defensive players in college football. Now there might be some guys that are scared of him. I'm sure there's a lot of people that are. But I've known Aaron for a long time now and if there's one thing Aaron doesn't shy away from it's a challenge. And he's one of those guys, you know he's not the biggest guy, he's not the strongest guy, but he's the most competitive, and he's the hardest worker.
"He's definitely not afraid of Clowney or anyone else - except Mrs. Murray. And probably his Dad too. He's outgrown the Dad part. But definitely his Mom."