Why Murray is SEC's top QB

Qualities that set UGA's QB apart will help him lead Dawgs past Gamecocks

Updated: October 4, 2012, 9:54 AM ET
By Brock Huard | ESPN Insider
Aaron MurrayAl Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesAaron Murray's command of the offense is one trait that sets him apart.

Aaron Murray doesn't have the prototypical size and arm strength of Tyler Bray and AJ McCarron, but when it comes to on-field collegiate production, he's my choice as the best quarterback in the SEC.

Granted, I'd probably feel a lot more comfortable making that declaration next week, after finding out if Murray and Georgia can do something against South Carolina on Saturday night that they haven't done in his 32 starts as a Bulldog: beat a top-20 team.

Yes, the Bulldogs are facing their biggest test of the season to this point in taking on the sixth-ranked Gamecocks on the road. The offense is facing a particularly difficult matchup at the line of scrimmage, as the Dawgs' inexperienced offensive tackles will be going up against one of the best defensive end tandems in college football in 6-foot-8 Devin Taylor and super sophomore Jadeveon Clowney (5.5 sacks). Those two won't make life very easy for Murray and the Bulldogs.

But while I'd feel more confident in calling Murray the SEC's best QB after seeing him beat South Carolina, the job of an analyst is not limited to simply reacting to what we have seen; it also involves taking into account what we've observed and forecasting what will happen next. And after watching Murray develop over the course of his career and seeing him in person against Vanderbilt two weeks ago, I believe he is ready for this moment, and the qualities that make him the SEC's best QB will help him beat the Gamecocks on Saturday.

Here are the three characteristics that make Murray my pick as the SEC's top quarterback.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• Six-year NFL QB and three-year starter at University of Washington
• Co-host of the Brock and Danny Show on ESPN 710 AM in Seattle