Aaron Murray: Auburn’s Nick Fairley made me contemplate quitting football
Andrew Olson - Saturday Down South
Former Auburn defender Nick Fairley was an absolute beast on the football field. He laid some vicious hits, sometimes illegally. Former Georgia QB Aaron Murray took such a pounding against Fairley’s Tigers in 2010 that he considered hanging up his cleats.
Murray recently visited WJOX 94.5 FM’s “3 Man Front,” and reflected on his memories of facing Fairley and the Tigers in The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry.
“If he did that outside the football field, he’d have been in jail for three years. … That was actually the first time in my life I was like ‘I don’t know if I want to play football anymore.’ I’m not kidding either,” Murray recalled. “I was on the sideline, and I had six stitches; my jersey’s covered in blood; I had a fractured sternum and can’t feel the left side of my body. I got whiplash in my neck, and I can’t really move my neck. I was like ‘Is this really worth it? It’s my freshman year, I can quit now and save myself a lot of punishment.’
“I had to sit up sleeping the next two weeks. I couldn’t even lay down. It was tough.”
Fairley’s hits angered the Bulldogs and one offensive lineman retaliated in a memorable way.
“Ben Jones ripped the dreads off the middle linebacker’s head. … I’m in the huddle and have a fractured sternum (from Fairley’s hit), Ben hands me the dreads in the middle of the huddle. I’m like, ‘Ben, what do you want me to do with these?’ I have to call a play in like 10 seconds. So, he sticks them in his pants, and then, at his house in Athens, he attached it to the ceiling fan,” Murray told the show.
Murray, of course, stuck with football and went on to become the SEC’s all-time leader in passing yards (13,166) and touchdowns (121).