I was honored this past week to interview the Georgia great, Aaron Murray. I actually attended the Athens Touchdown Club dinner the night before I interviewed him, and he was the keynote speaker. He prepared a wonderful speech for us and took photos with most of the fans there. Not only was he kind enough to hang out with the Touchdown Club, he and I set up an interview time for the next night, so before I get started, I’d like to thank Aaron for his willingness to do this interview on short notice.
Aaron was raised in Tampa, Florida, where he grew up in a family of five. He has a brother, Josh (6 years older), and a sister, Stephanie (2 years younger). Aaron played football for four years at Henry B. Plant High School under Coach Robert Weiner and graduated in 2009. Later that year, he began his time at the University of Georgia. He was redshirted his freshman year but started at UGA the next four seasons.
“I just had an amazing time at Georgia. From academics, to football, to life around campus, I had the best five years of my life. That place really has a special place in my heart,” remarked Aaron.
He went on to play in the National Football League for three years. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth round of the 2014 draft. He played there for two years, then he moved on to the Philadelphia Eagles for one more year. Aaron is now a color commentator for CBS.
Born and raised in the south, Aaron was surrounded with Southeastern Conference football, and every Saturday he would watch the 3:30 p.m. SEC game on CBS. He knew he wanted to stay close to his family, so his college decision came down to the University of Georgia or the University of Florida.
Aaron stated, “Obviously being from Florida, people automatically assumed I would go to Florida and be a Gator. I think I definitely surprised a lot of people when I made the commitment to Georgia. The minute I stepped on campus, the minute I met Coach [Mark] Richt, I just knew it was the place for me.” Aaron ended up playing for four years, and ever since he graduated from Georgia in 2014, he has lived in Atlanta during the offseason. He no longer plays in the NFL, so he now he permanently resides in Atlanta. Both his brother and sister graduated from Georgia and now live in Atlanta and his parents are set to move there as well. He referred to his family as “Georgia people!”
Aaron quickly responded, “Luckily when you play for the University of Georgia you’re going to have a lot of great receivers, tight ends, and running backs.” Aaron continued, “AJ Green was a blast to throw to!” He also brought up Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett, Orson Charles, Arthur Lynch, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall out of the backfield.
FAVORITE GAME AND PLAY
Aaron felt he had to go with the LSU game in 2013. It was his senior season, both teams were ranked in the Top 10, and College Gameday was in Athens. According to Aaron, both offenses were lighting it up that night, and it was a game where whoever had the ball last would win. “It was a two-minute drill, and I hit Justin Scott-Wesley on the sideline for a touchdown to win the game. It was a really special moment to be in Sanford Stadium to celebrate, not only with your teammates and coaches but with the fans. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave the stadium that day,” Aaron recollected.
BROADCASTING AND POINTERS FOR ME
Aaron had some great advice for me. One important thing he said was to get as many reps as possible, whether it’s interviews or doing a show or podcast. The more talking and time I can get in front of a camera, the more comfortable I will be. For Aaron, his big challenge is timing: “I’m working with someone, so understanding when my play-by-play guy is going to talk, when do I talk, and how much is important.” He has loved the transition from being on the field to being in the box. He has done seven commentaries now and some in-studios as well. “It’s been fun,” he said, “I get to stay around the game of football, talk about a game I love, and I get to work it.”
“Being a quarterback, I think you want to work with some of the best receivers, so I think working with Jerry Rice would’ve been really cool.” According to Aaron, Rice is one of his all-time favorite receivers. Even though Rice wasn’t the fastest, he ran his routes with incredible precision, which Aaron loved.
“I’m kind of a bookworm. I love reading books. I think that will also help you in the broadcasting world and to expand your vocabulary a little bit,” proclaimed Aaron. He also said he’s a Harry Potter nerd, and when the books came out, he was always the first in line with a costume. Another fact Aaron divulged was his love for dogs. He has a couple dogs and claimed he treats them like they are his kids.
OUTLOOK ON THE DAWGS
“I’m excited man! They’ve had such a great year. First off, they’re a balanced team, they’re a disciplined team, and they’re a confident team.” He also said, “Those guys go out every single week knowing that not only are we going to win, but we’re going to beat the brakes off every team we’re going to play.” He’s excited they’ve punched their ticket for Atlanta in the SEC Championship, and he hopes
they’ll be back in Atlanta for the National Championship.
In closing, I would like to clear up one statement for Aaron: the first thing he said at the Touchdown Club dinner was he apologizes for picking Mississippi State to beat us!
Here is the audio of my full interview with Aaron Murray:
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