Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is an Elite 11 Quarterback Camp veteran.
The summer before his junior year at Tampa (FL) Plant, Murray was invited to be a ball boy at the prestigious camp. The following year, he was selected as a participant in the camp, joining the likes of former Elite 11 standouts Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, and Matt Stafford.
Four years later, Murray is back in Southern California as a counselor to this year's crop of talented high school quarterbacks, making him the third player in history to attend the camp at all three levels.
"It's awesome. I was very privileged to come out as ball boy and as a participant, and now I'm here as a counselor, so I've pretty much done it all. It's a great event. It's changed a lot since I've been here; practices are different and there's more film watching and 7on7, but it's a lot of fun and a lot more interactive," he said.
For Murray, the week is about more than just giving advice to the younger players. With the opportunity to work with former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer and quarterback coach George Whitfield, among others, Murray is also stepping up his own game.
"I'm constantly working on my footwork; you can never be too perfect. You always want a good base to throw accurate passes and the more drills you can do, the better, so footwork is definitely the most important thing I'm working on," he said.
Murray also emphasized the importance of watching film, something that the camp now heavily relies on, and has made sure that the high school prospects know that physical talent is only one aspect in becoming an all-around quarterback.
"Film is a huge part of the game, especially when you get to college and the pros. It's not all about physical ability. When you're in high school, you can just throw over people and run by everyone, but when you get to the next level, it's all about the mental side of the game and how much more you know.
"Everyone is talented. Everyone can run hard, throw hard, throw far. Those guys who study more, know the playbook and study schemes, those are the guys who will be more successful," he said.
When the signal-caller attended the camp, he was named MVP of the 2008 group. This year, he has a suggestion as to who could possibly win the award, which is voted upon by the coaches after careful evaluation of each players' on the field performance and "chalk talk" knowledge.
"There are a lot of talented kids out there right now. If I had to pick someone, it'd probably be Brice Ramsey. He's coming to Georgia with me and I have to root for my Georgia boys," he laughed.
All kidding aside, Murray has had the chance to work with Ramsey this week and has come away impressed.
"They actually put Brice in my group and he's looked great. He's done a great job with his footwork and with his accuracy and he's definitely impressed me so far," he said.
Getting back on the field has given Murray a taste of the upcoming season, as the Bulldogs will begin fall camp in a few short weeks, and he's feeling optimistic about the future.
"We're looking great. We've had a great off-season and have a very, very talented team coming back next year, so I'm looking forward to it, looking forward to that first game versus Buffalo. I look forward to every game; you can't look past any. You just have to take it one game at a time," he said.