The former Georgia quarterback held his Pro Day on April 16, less than five months after tearing his left ACL. Murray is the first SEC quarterback to pass for more than 3,000 yards in each of his four seasons.
DAN PATRICK:Were you concerned the ACL injury would threaten your chances of being drafted?
AARON MURRAY: No. I've played 52 games in the SEC. I have a lot of film.
DP:Have teams expressed concern that you're flirting with that 6-foot mark?
AM: That was a big day, when I walked onto that stage [at the combine]. I was just praying, Please be over 6 foot, please be over 6 foot. We got 6 foot and one-half inch.
DP:If you were 6'4", how would that affect where you're drafted?
AM: There are a lot of coaches who will only draft a quarterback if he's a certain height. I don't understand it. I've never had trouble. Two years ago I had the biggest offensive line in college or pro football. We averaged around 6'5", 330 pounds. I threw 35 touchdowns that year. I had no trouble seeing over them. You just have to be able to have great feet, find throwing lanes and be accurate.
DP:Do you know where you're going to be taken?
AM: No idea. We're hoping for somewhere in the mid-rounds right now.
DP:Tony Dungy caused a stir last year by saying you were the best quarterback in this class.
AM: That was awesome. You can't talk to one single player, coach or GM who doesn't have the utmost respect for Coach Dungy. I was very fortunate to get to know him because I played with his son in high school. He's been a mentor to me.
DP:Do you know what people ask about the most when it comes to you right now?
AM: What's that?
DP:Take a guess.
AM: My girlfriend [Philadelphia broadcaster Kacie McDonnell].
DP:You in love?
AM: Oh, yeah. It's been great. We're having a good time.
DP:Why don't you get together and hang out with Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron and Katherine Webb?
AM: Have a little show together?
DP:Would you consider doing a reality show?
AM: Maybe down the line.
DP:How about The Real Girlfriends of the SEC?
AM: People would love it.
DP:I may have to limit the number of girlfriends with Johnny Manziel.
AM: No, I think that'd be extremely entertaining. The more the merrier.
DP:So I'll count you in.
AM: They have the SEC Network now. That could be their first real big show.
DP:Am I forgetting any SEC quarterback with a girlfriend?
AM: I'm sure if you went down the line, they [all do]. I think the dude from Florida dates a cheerleader.
DP:This is a home run.
AM: Get it [trademarked]. That's big money.
I asked Kentucky's John Calipari whether he can continue to coach if the one-and-done rule doesn't change. "It will be hard," Calipari said. "The option is to recruit players that are not good enough—or convince kids who should leave that they should stay. I'm not comfortable with that second one. Big Blue Nation wouldn't be comfortable with [the first one]." ... Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph isn't concerned that he had only seven dunks during the season. "I tell guys, It ain't about dunking," he told me. "The guys who do all the dunking, it stops after a while. Your skill set is more important." ... Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija, a star wide receiver at Notre Dame, applauds the efforts of Northwestern football players to unionize. But he thinks paying athletes is dangerous: "If you gave me 1,500 bucks when I was in college, you might not have seen me again."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
AL TIELEMANS/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (MURRAY)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (CALIPARI)
ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (RANDOLPH)
RON VESELY/MLB PHOTOS/GETTY IMAGES (SAMARDZIJA)