RECRUITING: UF back in picture for O.J. Murdock

The firing of Ron Zook had widespread effects on the Florida football program, both good and bad. For everybody's All-America wide receiver OJ Murdock, the effect was definitely bad. Upset with the firing of Coach Ron Zook, Murdock had taken Florida off his list of potential schools.

Well, that is until Coach Urban Meyer stopped in on Murdock in Tampa, and if first impressions are the best, score a big one for the new Florida Gator coach.

"He's a cool dude," said O.J. Murdock. "He's an outstanding man. I didn't really know much about him except what I read or seen on the news and stuff like that. But he's a great person...he's a great person to meet with and a great person to talk to. Period."

Meyer and Murdock (6-0, 185) talked for nearly an hour today discussing Meyer's move to UF and what the situation at UF could hold for Murdock.

"We talked about the whole situation with him [Meyer] being there [at Florida] and how he felt about being there and how he felt about being a Gator and me hearing that made me feel a whole lot better," Murdock explained. "It made me feel a lot more aware about the things that are going to happen at Florida and my feelings toward Florida."

Does that put the Gators back in the race for Murdock?

"Yeah, I would say that puts UF back in the hunt," he said.

Murdock is just now preparing to take his official visits. He was scheduled to take a visit to see the Miami Hurricanes this weekend but he's rescheduled that for January. He has Florida back on his visit list, most likely the first recruiting weekend of January.

Murdock was very impressed with Coach Meyer and his enthusiasm about the new coach was contagious.

"It was very exciting," he said. "We laughed. We joked around. It was like we already knew each other. He's a very exciting person to talk to. Anyone that hasn't talk to him before would be really impressed."

As everyone knows, Murdock the kind of blazing speed that turns both cornerbacks and defensive coordinators into insomniacs when they think about trying to defend him. Should Murdock choose Florida along with recent commitment Derrick McPhearson, it would give the Gators a pair of burners at wide receiver with 4.3 speed in the forty. Murdock has already wowed Gator observers with his play at the Florida camp back during the summer. He would be another serious weapon in an arsenal that already includes Chris Leak, Skyler Thornton, Bubba Caldwell, Chad Jackson, and many others.

Now that Coach Meyer has allieviated any fears OJ might have had about the Florida program, Murdock is back to a three-team leaderboard with Miami, Tennessee and the Gators all sharing equal billing at this point. Time will tell where he ends up, but Coach Meyer made serious inroads very quickly with a young man who was deeply hurt by the firing of the previous staff. Coach Meyer has his foot in the Murdock's door. Will he be able to swing the door wide open for Florida?

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