But scholarship offers began to pour in when the calendar turned from December to January. Ole Miss was the first to act. The Rebels offered the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Murchison Jan. 5, and Murchison didn’t even wait a full day to commit. Texas, Georgia and Houston followed suit, and now a rather cut-and-dry decision has been made exponentially more difficult with National Signing Day only a week away.
Murchison has already taken official visits to Texas and Georgia. Up next is an all-important trip to Ole Miss, his first to the school and the last before he makes his final choice on where he’ll finish his collegiate career.
“Ole Miss is definitely still at the top, but Georgia’s a great contender,” Murchison said. “Being committed to Ole Miss, I’m going to take my last visit with Ole Miss this weekend. Hopefully things go well.”
Murchison was in Athens last weekend, a visit that came together over the course of a few days. Georgia made initial contact through Twitter last Thursday. An official visit was quickly thrown together, an offer was extended on Saturday and the full-court press has since been applied to secure his signature.
Georgia is selling immediate playing time, which has peaked Murchison’s interest.
“Everything was kind of like a family-based environment,” he said. “I could tell the coaches take care of their players. It just wasn't one coach with me the whole time. The whole coaching staff greeted me and checked on me to make sure I was doing good. I felt like it was love at the end of the day. It was great spirit between the coaching staff.”
In Ole Miss’ corner, though, is Tray Scott, who is entering his first season as Rebel defensive line coach. Scott was hired away from North Carolina by head coach Hugh Freeze in December to replace Chris Kiffin. Kiffin left to become the defensive coordinator for his brother, Lane, at FAU.
Scott all but discovered Murchison. The scouting and recruiting leg work Scott put in for the Tar Heels followed him to Ole Miss, and Scott quickly pulled the trigger on an offer due to the need the Rebels have at defensive tackle. Murchison is currently the only defensive tackle committed. Ole Miss hopes to sign at least two.
“He’s doing a great, awesome job recruiting me,” Murchison said. “I’m definitely glad and honored to be recruited by a person of his stature because he seems like he teaches a lot. He’s taught me a lot, not just in the recruiting process, but as a person. I’m definitely looking forward to working with coach Scott.
“He took a chance on offering me because he saw what I had instilled me when other people couldn’t see it or other people didn’t know about it. But he found me first. That really means a lot.”
Murchison said he’s looking at the respective depth charts when evaluating his finalists. Facilities, etc., won’t be much of a factor in where he ultimately ends up. He’s most concerned with playing time and comfort.
Ole Miss is hammering home the opportunity for Murchison to come in and push for significant minutes as a three-technique defensive tackle. Murchison had 41 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in nine games last season.
“It’s very, very important,” he said of his upcoming Ole Miss visit. “This is getting down to signing day Feb. 1. (I’m looking at) how everybody treats me, being able to vibe with my teammates, being able to talk to coaches at different times and just being a place where I feel at home and a place that I could be safe and be coached by the greatest. I definitely feel like I could be coached by the greatest at Ole Miss. You’ve got coach Hugh Freeze, you’ve got coach Scott, you’ve got coach (Wesley McGriff). That would be a major factor on my decision.”
Suffice to say, Murchison’s stock has soared in a month’s time. Ole Miss appears to still be in the best position to land him.
“It’s crazy right now,” he said, “but right now Ole Miss is still at the top.”