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Georgia QB Murray to return for senior season

Georgia QB Aaron Murray set a school record with 3,898 yards passing this season.

Georgia QB Aaron Murray set a school record with 3,898 yards passing this season.

ATLANTA — Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said Sunday night he is returning for his senior season.

Murray announced on his Twitter account he won't leave early to enter the NFL draft.

"Blessed to be the QB for the Dawgs, not ready to leave just yet. Time to get back to work & help lead this team to a championship," Murray said.

Murray, a fourth-year junior, already has graduated. He led Georgia to a 12-2 finish that included a loss to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game and a victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. Murray threw five touchdown passes in the bowl game.

Murray is the first quarterback in SEC history to pass for 3,000 yards in three straight seasons. He had 3,898 yards passing this season to set a Georgia record, topping Eric Zeier's mark of 3,525 in 1993. Murray threw 36 touchdowns passes and only 10 interceptions and leads the nation with a 174.8 passer rating.

Another top Georgia junior, linebacker Jarvis Jones, has announced he is entering the NFL draft. While Jones is projected to be a high first-round pick, the forecast for Murray was not as clear. Murray likely would have expected to be selected no higher than the second round.

Georgia issued no immediate statement on Murray's decision.

Coach Mark Richt said recently he would support Murray and other juniors no matter their decisions on the draft.

"If these guys choose to stay, I'm thrilled obviously, but if they choose to go I'm their No. 1 fan ether way because I just want what's best for them," Richt said. "I can't say what's best for them. They have to figure out for themselves. They're grown men now."

Murray's decision means Georgia's offense will return almost all of its top starters from a unit that averaged a school-record 37.8 points.

Georgia loses senior receivers Tavarres King and Marlon Brown but will return receiver Malcolm Mitchell, tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall and all five starting offensive linemen.


GURLEY HONORED:

ATHENS — Georgia true freshman tailback Todd Gurley has been named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team.

Gurley, a 6-1, 218-pound native of Tarboro, N.C., became the 12th Bulldog to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the first since Knowshon Moreno in 2008. Gurley went for 1,385 yards, which ranks sixth in school history for a single season, and 17 touchdowns (a UGA freshman record) on 222 carries.

Only Gurley and Bulldog legend Herschel Walker have tallied 1,000-yard seasons in their true freshman seasons. Gurley finished 2012 with nine games where he went for at least 100 yards rushing, which ranks third in school history for a season.