RECRUITING: A New Player For DeMarco Murray

Las Vegas is known for high stakes gambling but even though the stakes are high for DeMarco Murray, recruiting this tailback out of local power Bishop Gorman High School is no gamble. Murray's combination of speed, power and moves makes him the sure bet. He still has the same four teams at the top but recently there's a new card shark trying to rub elbows with the big boys.

(DeMarco Murray profile)

For the longest time, super powers Florida, USC, Miami, and Oklahoma looked like they held all the recruiting cards for Murray but recently, Coach Steve Spurrier of South Carolina has stepped up to the table. Although South Carolina is entering the picture late, the Gamecocks could force some big time powerhouse programs to fold.

"It's still a top four right now (Florida, Southern Cal, Miami and Oklahoma) but South Carolina has kind of jumped in the mix," Murray said. "I have been talking to Steve Spurrier lately. Michigan, Texas A&M, and South Carolina are all right there for the fifth and final visit. I haven't set up any dates. I will take as many as I can during the season. If I can't get to them I will take them after the season."

With practices heating up, school already started, and the real season right around the corner, Murray has grown a little leery about the whole recruiting process. He knows he just needs to stay the course and he has the aptitude and attitude to get through it all and finish a winner.

"In a way it is getting old, but I don't really want to think that because I need to make a good decision," he said. "I am going somewhere for the next four years of my life, so I need to go with someone that I can trust and I can work with. I am just trying to stick it out right now."

With school in, the schedule gets that much tighter for someone that is already being pulled in every direction imaginable. He is looking forward to one more year and graduating in May with his Gorman Class of '06.

"(School) started on the 17th, last Wednesday," he said. "I only have five classes, so it's not too bad. My favorite subject right now is probably English. I am learning a lot there and I have pretty interesting courses in world religion and anatomy, but that's not too much.

"Right now, I don't know what I want to major in, but I am kind of looking at business. I don't really like Math, but maybe management would be good. "

Of course with the start of the school year, comes the start of football season. Already in the thick of practice, the season is right on top of Murray and his Gorman teammates.

"The season starts a week from Friday between us and Las Vegas High School," he said. "We had a scrimmage (Saturday). I only had five carries, but scored on a 35-yard run. I didn't play a lot and a lot of the first team didn't play because it was a scrimmage. We just want to play together as a team and win the state championship."

Gorman Coach Dave White is a disciplined coach who has been around the block a few times when it comes to recruiting and dealing with major colleges. Last season Gorman's star linebacker Ryan Reynolds signed with Oklahoma after a lengthy recruiting process. White monitors the recruiting process closely, offering assistance whenever it's needed.

"Coach White is a pretty straight guy," Murray said. "He is a cool guy to talk to, he is a smart coach and he does a lot of things with his players. He will have some of input (in the recruiting process and final decision). He will tell me pros and cons with schools. He will make sure I know the graduation rates, what the depth charts at running back is like, do I really want to play running back, stuff like that. He will have his input, but at the end of the day it will be my decision."

With all of this in mind, the 6-1, 190-pound burner from the desert talks about his choices for a college education.

FLORIDA: "I just like the team and it is a great city. I went down there last year and had a good time. Coach (Urban) Meyer is a good guy and I really like to get on his good side. He is just an awesome guy along with Coach (Stan) Drayton. I have just grown with those guys, and I have gained a great relationship with them.

"I was just talking to Coach Meyer Saturday and he was telling me they have three backs and one good, talented back that will help them a lot. They have two others that are pretty good, they have four great receivers and Chris Leak. It sounds like a good passing game with the receivers … the running game could be good too."

OKLAHOMA: "Coach (Bob) Stoops and Coach (Cale) Gundy … I have developed good relationships with all their coaches, and it's going to be a hard decision to tell them no, if that's what it comes down to."

MIAMI: "They are a little new on the list a while ago. I like Coach (Don) Werner. They are just Miami. They send a lot of players to the league. They produce players to the best of their ability. They are still up there … it is just a great program.

"I really don't have a relationship with Coach Werner as I do with Coach Meyer. My relationship with Coach Meyer is much better. Daily I am trying to (increase) that relationship, so I am reading letters and making phone calls when I can."

SOUTHERN CAL: "(I like) the team prestige. They say I will be used like Reggie Bush. Coach T-Mac is a great guy and I also have a pretty good relationship with him. Coach Burns and Coach Carrol … it's just a great team."

MICHIGAN: "I haven't talked with them in a week or so. But, I get a lot of text messages and letters. Me not talking for a week is not a big deal, I can go a while and them still be on my mind. They tell me they can you use me as a freshman at defensive back or running back. They are recruiting me for both."

TEXAS A&M: "I have formed a great relationship with (defensive line) Coach Eggen and Coach Franchione, and I am just trying to give them a chance, because it is hard to say no to them."

SOUTH CAROLINA: "Coach Spurrier is a legend. I am just going to stick it out with them and see how things go from here. I talked to Coach Spurrier on Friday. Right now, I don't know a too much about them and am trying to get caught up on them with all the stuff they sent me."

There is no rush for Murray. He will make up his mind when the time is right for him. He does know what will be the deciding factors in that decision.

"From day one, I have said relationships are the most important thing," he said. "All of the coaches I have talked to I have built a pretty good relationship with. I just need to go somewhere that I can prove myself and be given the opportunity to play as a freshman. I think I can do that if given the chance. I just want to compete for the job. That's just it."

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