ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray has been named one of 10 finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, according to an announcement from the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica.
Murray is one of three finalists from the Southeastern Conference and one of two returning finalists for the award.
Candidates for the Golden Arm Award must be completing their college eligibility or be a fourth-year junior, on schedule to graduate with his class. Candidates are judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities and athletic accomplishments.
This year’s Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award will be presented at a ceremony on December 13 in Baltimore, Md., at The Embassy Suites Baltimore-Inner Harbor & Grand Historic Venue.
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 12,287 yards and moved into the league’s No. 1 spot during the win at Tennessee. Murray then set a conference record in total offense at Vanderbilt with 12,591.
Now, his 113 career touchdown passes trail only Florida’s Danny Wuerffel, 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 49 career starts. He began his career as a redshirt freshman in 2010 and earned Freshman All-America honors.
Murray was one of 16 players nationwide who earned one of the prestigious National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Awards this season and will be honored in New York City with an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship.
So far this season, the 2013 Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist has been named the Maxwell Award National Player of the Week and the Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week twice and the Davey O’Brien Quarterback of the Week and the Manning Award “Star of the Week” once 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.
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 2012 CoSIDA Capital One Second Team Academic All-American and three-time First Team Academic All-District selection was a member of the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Murray was also the overall male winner of this year’s Peach of an Athlete award.
Proceeds from the Golden Arm Award help to support the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation. The Foundation provides financial assistance to underprivileged and deserving young scholar-athletes throughout Maryland and Kentucky.
The namesake of the Golden Arm Award has a storied history. Johnny Unitas was an 18-year veteran of the NFL, who played his collegiate career at the University of Louisville before joining the Baltimore Colts in 1958. His career passing figures include 2,830 pass completions for 40,239 yards, 290 touchdowns and throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games.
Unitas was inducted into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame in 1979. The Hall of Fame, in commemorations of the NFL’s 25th, 50th, and 75th anniversaries selected Unitas as the top quarterback of all-time. In turn-of-the-century listings, he was named to Sports Illustrated’s list of top 10 athletes, Time Magazine’s list of 10 most influential athletes, and ESPN’s series on the 50 greatest athletes of the century
The Bulldogs (5-3, 4-2 SEC) host Appalachian State (2-7, 2-4 SoCon) at Sanford Stadium on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. WSB will televise the first-ever matchup between the two teams.