ATHENS, Ga. – It’s a story that he’s told plenty of times, but Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray still laughs when thinking about it.
As a junior at Plant High School in Tampa, Murray was about 30 minutes from an unofficial visit to Gainesville, Fla., when his prep teammate Orson Charles called from campus with harried news.
Charles had accidentally broken the University of Florida’s 2006 national championship trophy -- the crystal ball that is awarded to the winner of the BCS title game.
“He just, I guess, bumped into the table it was on,” Murray said. “It just fell over and shattered everywhere. They just swept it up and just put it in the trash can. I think one of my coaches just grabbed a piece of it, and we kept it.”
It wasn’t a tragedy. Florida had insurance on the trophy, so it was quickly replaced, and the Gators soon won another one in 2008.
“I think Coach (Urban) Meyer was like, ‘You better commit here and come win us another one if you’re going to do that,’” Murray said. “I think that Coach Meyer was pretty cool about it.”
Charles, now a Georgia tight end, was embarrassed by the situation. He didn’t speak to reporters in Athens prior to the Florida game last season and has not yet this week.
“He didn’t say too much the rest of the day,” Murray said. “He was more quiet and trying not to make too much of an appearance, because everyone was talking about it, pretty much. … It was funny. He was embarrassed about what happened. I tell him that it’s a good thing now. I told him that if he went to Florida, it may be bad, but you go to Georgia. You’re worshiped for that here.
“I told him to take more advantage of being the kid who dropped the national championship trophy.”