Weight off shoulders for Kenneth Murray

OU was the visit Kenneth Murray waited for, and it's the one that made the difference.

It has been about a week since Missouri City (Texas) Fort Bend Elkins linebacker Kenneth Murray committed to Oklahoma.

After all the pressure of setting a self-imposed Aug. 10 deadline, it would only be natural if Murray was having any second thoughts about his choice.

But he’s not.

“A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I do feel different,” Murray said. “I can simply sit down and focus on my season now.”


Murray made a lot of OU fans happy last week when the high three-star linebacker prospect picked the Sooners instead of fellow finalists Texas and Texas A&M.

Heading into the decision, it definitely looked like OU was going to be the choice, but the Sooners had to fight to get to that spot.

The visit to the #ChampUBBQ three weeks ago ended up being a huge factor in OU being the choice. Murray openly admitted it was between Texas and A&M until that trip to Norman.

OU, Texas, A&M, all have nice facilities. They all have the necessary academic programs. They all have their football tradition. So what made the difference?

“There were two things,” Murray said. “One thing was the way they treated my mom. They showed so much care and concern for her. The other was Coach (Calvin) Thibodeaux. He offered me when he was at Kansas, and now he’s the defensive line coach. Then there was the connection my father and uncle had with the Stoops brothers. All the arrows pointed to OU.”

Murray said he knew about two or three days after the BBQ that it was going to be OU. He wanted to announce at 8:30 a.m. CST last Wednesday and was in contact with head coach Bob Stoops leading up to the decision.

Murray said Stoops told him he had practice at 8:30 so any time before then would be fine. It worked out perfectly with Murray calling Stoops at 7:30 a.m. to tell him the good news.

The BBQ was something totally different by OU and a chance to see the recruits and coaches in a different light. It was also a chance for Murray to get to know the group known as SoonerSquad17 and one member in particular, Collinsville (Okla.) High linebacker Levi Draper.

“I have a great relationship with all the commits,” Murray said. “I was actually in the group message with the commits for the last couple of weeks.

“Levi Draper was the one recruit I really got to know. I think because he’s a linebacker that they really wanted me to get to know him better. He was actually the first person I told, outside of my dad, that it was going to be OU.”

Murray is slated to be outside linebacker for the Sooners, but he might have to make an adjustment back to that spot if he is indeed a free safety for Fort Bend Elkins.

That’s the plan as of now, but Murray said he’s not worried about that because of all the extra training he is personally devoting toward working on his pass rush game.

A&M and Texas were right there the whole time. But there’s no looking back now for Murray.

“I’m done,” Murray said. “Like I said, that weight has been lifted off the shoulders and I don’t plan on bringing that weight back on me. I’m 100 percent committed to OU.”

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