Since arriving from Sycamore High School, offensive lineman Justin Murray has kept his nose to the grindstone waiting for his chance to shine. Saturday night against %%MATCH_3%%, Murray’s time came and he delivered against one of the top defensive lines in college football and standout Joey Bosa.
How has Murray adjusted to it finally be his time to shine?
“I’m just trying to make the most of it,” stressed Murray. “Since the coaches got here, they have stressed next man up when someone goes down. They don’t care who does it, but somebody else must step up.
“So it was my time and I just wanted to continue to work hard and help the team win. I came here to win championships.”
How did Murray feel after walking off the field at %%MATCH_4%% Stadium?
“At the end of the game I felt I did a good enough job,” he said. “I played hard for the team and despite Cory (Keebler) going down; I felt the offensive line didn’t lose a step and it didn’t feel like a patch work offensive line or if anyone was missing.
“So I felt pretty good as we knew going into the game their defensive line was the core to their defense. Joey Bosa is probably one of the best guys I’ve ever defended and I didn’t give up any sacks. So I felt pretty good leaving The Shoe.”
What was it like representing his hometown school against the state school?
“It was very big, very big,” he said. “Being a hometown kid and playing in front of the millions of people watching and also in front of people I went to school with, teachers who taught me, friends and family and even some of the little kids from the neighborhood that look up to me made it very special.”
As for entering this week as a starter Murray stresses he’s not changing anything.
“Every week I come out here trying to be focused and mistake free,” he said. “Coming out here knowing I’m going to be the starter has made me even more focused.”