ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray has been named one of the recipients of the National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Awards, according to an announcement from the NFF and the College Hall of Fame on Thursday.
Each of the players honored win an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship and will be recognized at a dinner in New York City. The honorees also comprise the list of finalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes an individual as the best scholar-athlete in the nation.
Murray is the only player from the Southeastern Conference on the 16-man team. The 2012 CoSIDA Capital One Second Team Academic All-American and two-time First Team Academic All-District selection is the first Bulldog to garner the honor since punter Drew Butler received the NFF award in 2011.
The Bulldogs have now had 13 players in school history earn this honor. During the Mark Richt era, Murray, Butler, quarterback David Greene (2004) and offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb (2002) have all received this accolade. Place kicker Bobby Etter (1966) was the first Georgia winner.
A member of the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and the overall male winner of this year’s Peach of an Athlete award, Murray has distinguished himself as exceptional both on and off the playing field.
Murray, a 6-1, 208-pound native of Tampa, Fla., has set a pair of SEC career records this season and is on pace for another. He has passed for 12,029 yards and moved into the league’s No. 1 spot during the win at Tennessee. Murray then set a conference record in total offense with 12,327 at Vanderbilt.
Now, his 112 career touchdown passes trails only Florida’s Danny Wuerrfel, who finished with 114 from 1993-96. Murray, who was one of the Bulldogs’ 2012 captains, is also the only quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards or more in each of his first three seasons and is the active national leader with 48 career starts. He began his career as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and earned Freshman All-America honors.
So far this season, the 2013 Maxwell Award semifinalist has been named the Maxwell Award National Player of the Week and the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week twice during victories over #6 South Carolina and #6 LSU. During that stretch, he combined to go 27-for-57 for 607 yards and eight touchdowns and only a single interception while also rushing for a score.
Winning MVP honors at the 2013 Capital One Bowl, Murray has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back trips to the SEC Championship Game and was selected as a finalist for last year’s Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
Murray graduated with a degree in Psychology in 2011 after posting a GPA of 3.3 and then recorded a 4.0 in his first semester of his Psychology doctorate program. He is currently taking undergraduate classes towards another degree.
The NFF’s National Scholar-Athlete program, launched in 1959, is the first initiative in history to award scholar-athletes postgraduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. This year’s class members finds themselves in good company, as past National Scholar-Athletes include former Bulldog All-American and current chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, Billy Payne.
Each finalist will receive the postgraduate scholarship at the 56th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on December 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, and one of the 16 will be announced as the 24th recipient of the William V. Campbell Trophy. Named in honor of Bill Campbell, the award comes with a 25-pound bronze trophy and a $25,000 post-graduate scholarship. A total distribution of $300,000 in scholarships will be awarded that evening.
Murray and the Bulldogs (4-3, 3-2 SEC) travel to Jacksonville, Fla., to take on Florida (4-3, 3-2) at EverBank Field on Saturday. CBS will televise the game at 3:30 p.m.