RECRUITING: RB Murray Has Always Been A Gator Fan

Growing up in Las Vegas, DeMarco Murray took a liking to the Florida Gators and the Michigan Wolverines because he liked the way they played and the fact that they almost always won. Murray's not a little kid anymore. He's a strapping 6-1, 185 pounds of muscle and lightning, a running back that makes everybody's who's who when it comes to recruiting.

(DeMarco Murray profile)

Now the centerpiece of the offense at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Murray is prepping for what he expects to be a season that fills a couple of highlight reels. While nearly every Division I school has called and offered a scholarship, he's pared his list to ten schools and hopes to have that number down to five by the end of the summer.

Right now, Florida, Michigan, Southern Cal, Miami, FSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, LSU and Penn State are on his list. He's going to take his official visits early with the hope that he can make his announcement at the US Army All-American Game in San Antonio in January. He's speeding that process along right now by taking some unofficial visits this summer. He's already been to one camp.

Murray's teammate from last year, linebacker Ryan Reynolds, played in the US Army All-American Game this past January. Reynolds signed with Oklahoma. Murray followed Reynolds to Norman for one day of Coach Bob Stoops' camp.

"Actually he [Reynolds] left the day before I went up there to camp," he said. "He is already in school there. At Oklahoma, I did one day of camp, the rest of the time I was just watching. I was hanging out with my teammates and Coach [David] White (Gorman head coach). I was just watching to see how they get after it. I like Coach [Cale] Gundy (Oklahoma assistant) … he is a good running backs coach."

In 2004, Murray ran 139 times for 1271 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a receiver, he caught 21 passes for 235 yards. Murray caught Florida's attention last year. He saw the Arkansas game in The Swamp when he was visiting Gainesville along with Reynolds. Murray liked the atmosphere and campus at Florida so much that he's planning to take another unofficial visit this summer.

"I have been down there before so I know what it is like," he said. "I was there for the Arkansas game … the crowd was amazing. The stadium was great, the fans were great, and the atmosphere was crazy."

When he visited Florida last year, Ron Zook was Florida's coach. Now, Urban Meyer has that job and Murray likes the new coach and his staff.

"I am highly interested … very highly interested," he said. "Coach Meyer is a good guy and coach. I actually talked to Coach [Stan] Drayton a couple of days ago. I was just telling him I am real interested right now and that I am going to try and get down there this summer. We just talked about normal things … about camp and stuff."

His love of the Gators began as a child and as he's grown up, he has maintained the interest in UF. There's something about Florida's winning tradition that he likes.

"I liked the Gators and Michigan growing up," he said. "It was just because of how good they were."

When Meyer came to Gainesville, he installed the spread option offense that has worked so well in previous stops at Bowling Green and Utah. It's an offense that Murray has seen and one in which he can envision himself playing.

"Yes I have seen it … the shotgun offense," he said. "I just have to see how well I would fit in. You can spread me out and I run hard. I have good vision. One guy isn't going to stop me too often. I can play a lot of places."

He knows that he will find the perfect fit for his talents on the football field. Right now he's more concerned with finding a place where he fits in academically but there are other factors that he will consider.

"Academics are first and foremost," he said of his priorities. "I also want to play early. Another main thing is how I get along with the coaching staff and the players."

REDMAN REACTION: What a pleasant surprise it was to talk to Murray finally. I am sure his phone is constantly ringing off the hook, but he was gracious to speak to me and very outgoing. He is definitely not afraid to get away from Las Vegas for school. Although he has ten schools on his list at the moment, don't be surprised if Florida makes the cut to his final five.

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