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HOOVER, Ala. - Aaron Murray knew the question was coming and it didn't take long.
After a quick icebreaker to ask about his golf game, Murray was quizzed whether or not he had heard the recent comments about him made by South Carolina All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
On Tuesday, Clowney stated that he noticed fear in the eyes of three quarterbacks he played against last year, mentioning Murray, along with Clemson's Tajh Boyd and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas.
"There we go, let's get that knocked out," Murray laughed. "I think the word fear was misused for respect, definitely a lot of respect for him.
"He's one of if not the best player in the country. He's an unbelievable player, a very talented player, a guy that you really have to game-plan for and set a plan for. So, not scared, but definitely somebody you respect for what he's able to do on the field."
Tight end Arthur Lynch said it did not take the comment long to make the rounds at the Butts-Mehre Building.
"He's (Murray) not the biggest guy, he's not the strongest guy, but he's the most competitive and he's the hardest worker," Lynch said. "I don't think Clowney's that much of an horror show, if he is we may be in for something we're not expecting but I expect us to show up, hopefully 1-0 and hopefully South Carolina will be a win for the Dawgs, although it's hard to predict anything until you go out and play."
Murray downplayed the notion that he's afraid of contact, from Clowney or anybody else.
As a redshirt freshman, Murray took a number of extreme shots from former Auburn player Nick Fairley, and two years ago received a huge hit from Clowney that resulted in a fumble and Gamecock touchdown.
"I enjoy getting hits," Murray said. "I'm not scared of getting hit by anyone but I'm not worried by who says what. All we can do is keep working hard and have a good summer which we have had. There's no fear, just all respect for him and what he's able to do on the field."
Bulldog head coach Mark Richt didn't think Clowney meant anything malicious.
"I went to some events with Jarvis Jones, I forget which one it was, but Jadeveon was there and he's got a good sense of humor," Richt sad. "He's a fun-loving guy, and you know, I think there a bunch of guys scared of him. I know if I was playing I'd be scared of him. But I think he's a pretty good guy, actually."
Murray did admit that Clowney is a game-changer, a player you have to take special steps to try and contain.
"You have to be aware of him and you have to have a game-plan for how you're going to block him, if you're a running back, chip him. If you're a tight end, chip him because it is tough," Murray said. "It's tough for any offensive lineman to block him one on one so you have to have a game-plan for him and I'm sure Coach (Mike) Bobo will have some sort of Master Plan ready to go to try and stop him."
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