As the 2012 season approaches, Tyler Bray has become one hot topic. As Bray toes the line between student athlete and average individual he has managed to fall in and out of the good graces of the people and the press.
What Bray does in his free time should be of no concern to his adoring public, but when he draws unnecessary attention to himself, he's focusing a microscope onto his personal life.
While some behavior and character deficiencies can and will be overlooked by many, it may be time for Bray to look up and see the light. He's teetering on the precipice of the Grand Canyon of public relations.
— Bray is one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC. As the 2012 pre-season Lindy's "Strongest Arm In SEC" he's capable of greatness and at 6-6, 215 lbs, Bray is an imposing figure on and off the field.
— With Cordarrelle Patterson, a nearly-universal five-star junior college prospect, Da'Rick Rogers, an All-SEC pick last year, and Justin Hunter, who was on his way to a record season last year before injuries derailed his progress, in his back pocket, Bray has one of the best receiving corps in the nation.
— If people looked at Bray's records, they might confuse his stats with UT football legend Peyton Manning. Through two seasons, Bray has thrown for 3,832 yards, 35 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in only 16 total games played. Those numbers are eerily similar to Manning's record-breaking 1997 senior season of 3,819 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 11 games.
— At 272 career completions Bray has the ability to meet or surpass Manning's 863 completions at UT. That means 591 completions in two years. It'll be like wiping sweat off his forehead.
— With stats and an arm as good as his, it's just nice to have a quarterback with a spot waiting for him in the NFL
— Accused of two separate incidences of vandalism in the past two months, Bray is not in good graces. In Dooley's own words, "Obviously, his accuracy isn't where it needs to be. He missed the trash can."
— While throwing beer bottles might be a good arm workout, it won't count towards his completions record and his practice techniques leave much to be desired.
— If Bray throws in the towel a year in advance to start a career in the NFL, that leaves a wounded offense with an inexperienced Justin Worley to pick up the pieces.
— Of course, we all know Bray won't be passing his Boater's Safety Course any time soon, nor will he be borrowing my jet ski.
— Lauren Kittrell is a senior in journalism and electronic media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. With contributions from Russell McBride, an undecided junior, and Austin Clow, a UT graduate.