Murtha spurns U for Nebraska

Glen Mason's week got off to a rough start with a 1-2 punch to the gut. First, highly touted in-state recruit Lydon Murtha reneged on his verbal commitment to the Gophers; then a potential scandal involving recruits and drinking surfaced on Wednesday.

Lydon Murtha, the massive offensive tackle from Hutchinson, Minn., is a consensus top-50 national recruit and was the crown jewel in Mason's Class of 2004. But Murtha announced this week that he was headed instead to Nebraska, after a weekend visit to Lincoln to meet new Cornhuskers coach Bill Callahan.

"Nebraska is where I want to be," Murtha told The Associated Press. "If you feel like it's a hard decision, then you're probably not 100 percent (certain). I'm 100 percent sure this is what I want to do."

Murtha will join his high school teammate Nathan Swift, a high-flying running back/wide receiver, in Lincoln this fall. Hutchinson QB Tony Mortensen apparently remains firm in his commitment to Minnesota.

Mason was unavailable for comment, which was probably a good thing considering the potential scandal brewing on campus. In Wednesday's edition of the Star Tribune, the paper revealed that a number of recruits said they were taken out for a night of drinking and visits to strip clubs during an offical visit to Minnesota in December.

"If it's true, it's obviously very disappointing to me," Minnesota AD Joel Maturi said to the Star Tribune. "We don't condone that. It's unacceptable. We will look into what happened to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Murtha said he did not drink that weekend and that the incident had nothing to do with his decision to go to Nebraska.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories