RECRUITING: Sooners make a move for Murray?

Las Vegas, Nev. running back Demarco Murray talks about his unofficial visit to Norman this weekend.

For the past couple of years the Sooners have been visiting Bishop Gorman High School in an effort to sign All-American linebacker Ryan Reynolds, which eventually paid off for the Sooners on signing day.

While the Sooners were recruiting Reynolds, they learned that Bishop Gorman is one of the best high school football programs in the country and that they will have other major recruits there every year.

This year the Sooners will be picking up frequent flyer miles in their effort to sign super stud running back Demarco Murray, who goes into his senior year at Bishop Gorman as a four-year starter. Murray, a 6-foot, 185-pounder with 4.4 speed, finished last year rushing for 1,300 yards and 14-touchdowns, despite missing three games for disciplinary reasons relating to his sophomore season. As a sophomore, Demarco finished with 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"I just run hard all the time," said Murray. "I try to make something happen every time I get the ball. I am athletic and I have good footwork. I can make people miss, but I certainly don't mind running inside."

Murray can bench 245 pounds, squats 405 and he has a 38-inch vertical jump. Murray saw Oklahoma Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables a bunch over the last year or so, as Venables was the assistant assigned to recruit Reynolds, and he knows all about the Sooner program.

"When Coach Venables came out to Vegas to recruit Ryan I got to know him very well," said Murray. "He has always been great to me and I always stopped by to say hi to him. I have developed a relationship with all of them from Coach (Bob) Stoops, Coach Venables, Coach (Cale) Gundy and the rest of the coaches. I really like dealing with them and I like them a lot."

This past weekend Murray visited OU unofficially and put together his first impression on the Sooners.

"I thought it was a good atmosphere and a great visit," said Murray. "The field was fantastic and the campus is so close to all the athletic facilities. I found out you can get a good education there and the facilities are great. OU is a great football program. I just loved it there."

OU recruited Reynolds for two years and you know he will put in a good word for the Sooners, but will it really be a factor in Murray's decision?

"It really isn't a factor at all," said Murray. "I love Ryan and he is a great friend. We would love to play together, but I have to make the best decision for me, and he understands that as well."

Murray is working hard to make sure he has a good understanding of all the schools that are recruiting him.

"I have also been to Florida, Arizona and Arizona State as well as Oklahoma," said Murray. "I have been offered by all of those schools and I have been offered by Nebraska, Michigan, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, New Mexico State, UNLV and Michigan State," said Murray. "Right now I don't have a top five. I am just trying to talk to as many coaches as I can to get a feel for what their programs are like.

"I just back from Oklahoma and it is a great place that takes care of their players. Their program is one of the best in the country as they have played for the National Championship three of the last five years. Coach Stoops is a great guy and really tries to take care of his players. He is a players' coach and that is the type of coach that I want to play."

So how do the four schools that Murray has visited thus far stack up in his eyes?

"Florida and Oklahoma are on a bigger level than Arizona and Arizona State right now," said Murray. "I think they are just bigger programs and I was just amazed about Florida and Oklahoma. I haven't really had a chance to see Arizona and Arizona State very well, but I think that Florida and Oklahoma are just a little above them right now."

Murray hopes to get out to Wisconsin, USC, Michigan and Texas A&M this summer.

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories