The NFL can wait.
Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has decided to return for a final season with the Bulldogs.
The fourth-year junior made the announcement on his Twitter feed Sunday night that he plans to remain with the program and won’t enter this year’s draft.
“Blessed to be the QB for the Dawgs, not ready to leave just yet,” Murray tweeted to his more than 63,000 followers. “Time to get back to work & help lead this team to a championship. #GoDawgs.”
A Georgia spokesperson later confirmed that Murray is indeed returning.
Murray, a three-year starter, revealed his decision the night before spring semester classes began at Georgia. Murray is in graduate school, pursuing a doctorate in industrial/organizational psychology.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Murray said earlier this week that he received a second- or third-round grade from the NFL underclassman advisory committee. In what was considered a week quarterback class, Murray was the fourth-rated quarterback prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and No. 11 by ESPN Scouts Inc.
Murray had said several times he planned to weigh the pros and cons of his decision with his parents. Coach Mark Richt said he and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo planned to speak to Murray during the weekend.
The return of the nation’s top-rated passer should ensure the Bulldogs will have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation next year and will make them even more of a contender to return to Atlanta for a third straight year for the SEC championship game.
Georgia’s defense lost a pair of underclassmen in junior linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree, who declared for the NFL draft, but that was expected.
Fourth-year junior nose guard Kwame Geathers still has yet to reveal if he is turning pro. The deadline to enter the draft is Jan. 15.
Georgia averaged a school-record 37.79 points per game this season when Murray completed 64.5 percent of his passes for a school-record 36 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and a school-record 3,893 yards
Georgia’s offense is losing only receivers Tavarres King and Marlon Brown.
Murray is the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000 yards in three straight seasons.
The Tampa native figures to be a top-tier Heisman Trophy candidate and is well within range of breaking a bunch of Southeastern Conference career records.
Murray is second on the SEC career touchdown passing list with 95, putting him just 20 away from topping Florida’s Danny Wuerffel. He is 1,438 passing yards away from moving by former Georgia quarterback David Greene atop the career list and 200 completions away from Chris Leak’s career record of 895.
Murray would take his first SEC title over any of those.
“I’ve always wanted to base my game off championships,” Murray said during bowl practices last month.
Murray will lead an offense that returns tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, its entire starting line and receivers Malcolm Mitchell, Michael Bennett and Chris Conley and tight ends Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer