No matter who you are, there are already plenty of things to worry about when meeting your potential in-laws: Did this dress get 10 times shorter the moment I stepped out the door? Will they know this wine only cost me eight dollars? Why can’t I stop sweating like I’m hiding something? But when you’re Andi The Bachelorette, Esq., you also have to consider that you’re walking into your boyfriend Josh’s house with three additional boyfriends on the sidelines and, apparently, prepare to curb all talk of the solo-concert dates you’ve taken Josh on to make way for chatter about his brother Aaron Murray's imminent draft into the NFL instead.
As a University of Georgia Bulldogs fan since birth, I have of course known that Josh was the brother of Aaron Murray from the moment the contestant bios were released. One look at that Baratheon-worthy jet black hair and Colgate smile, and I knew that guy was a Murray. I was, however, pretty shocked to see Aaron featured so prominently on last week’s hometown visits, because in my head, he’s, like, Ryan Gosling famous. But I realize that a non-SEC fan may not be as familiar with Aaron’s fine work as an all-time great UGA quarterback and all around stellar human being. Let me fill you in why Josh is so into his brother, and why you and Andi should be too.
He's One Crazy Resilient Player
It’s been a long road to the NFL for Aaron, filled with injuries, unreal expectations, and plenty of opportunities to give up — and he’s handled it all with grace, resilience, and class.
A finalist for Mr. Football in 2008 at Plant High School, Aaron was destined for big league drafting as one of the top three high school quarterbacks in the nation far before his senior year. But it was his senior year that showed everyone just what he was made of and what he would go on to do in college and the pros. In an early season game, after already amassing 267 yards in the first quarter alone, a tackle fractured his left fibula, dislocated his ankle, and left major ligament damage in its wake. With an estimated 6-month recover period, Aaron did his research, focused on his therapy, and was back on the field leading his team to a State title in just 57 days.
This was all when he was 17, mind you. Aaron went on to play starting quarterback as a redshirt freshman at UGA, a position he would hold until his senior year, putting off the NFL draft in order to chase the SEC Championship that eluded his team for his whole QB tenure. He came just five yards short of the Championship against Alabama in his redshirt junior year, and in his senior year, once again faced a potentially career-ending injury, tearing his ACL in UGA’s homecoming game. That didn’t stop him from breaking nearly every UGA quarterback passing record, breaking the all-time SEC career passing touchdown record, and becoming the first SEC quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards per year in four seasons…all before his injury.
He also didn't let that injury derail his NFL dreams: in
May, right around the time Andi was making her gentleman suitor house calls, Aaron was selected
by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. We can only
assume that Josh was right there, "cord" fully intact.
He's One Smart Cookie
OK, enough football; we all know how Andi gets nervous around athletes. Aaron was also a boss in the classroom while playing QB at Georgia. He graduated in three and a half years with a double major and 3.5 grade-point average and was pursuing his doctorate in Industrial Psychology during his redshirt senior year. Perhaps the most swoon-worthy factoid is that while still in his undergrad studies, Aaron worked with two of his psychology professors to design and implement a goals program that revitalized UGA’s summer workout regimen during his time as QB. A bit of an overachiever, that one.
He's One Sweet Kid
"When you go into a home and you meet the family, you just knew he was raised right, that he came from a home of a lot of love. Those guys tend to have a better start and have a chance to navigate all the things that happen throughout their careers." — Mark Richt, Aaron’s UGA head coach
Aaron’s lasting legacy at UGA, and what will most assuredly follow him to the NFL, is that he’s just a sweet, hard working, well-rounded kid…er, 23-year-old man, now. Perhaps Andi could hop on Instagram and check out the lovely relationship Aaron has had with his girlfriend, Kacie, and feel a little more confident in trusting Josh to treat her well. Kacie also appears to be super smart, cool, and beautiful — where do all these perfect people come from? Andi joining the Murray family, with her excellent bone structure and propensity for kicking gang crime’s ass in Atlanta, would make the group truly an unstoppable force. If not for Kaci, my vote would be Aaron for the next Bachelor, and you could find me first in line in one of those open casting calls Chris Harrison is always prattling on about.
Oh well. I suppose Chris is quite the sweet fella, himself.