Panthers pursue Florida cornerback

Pitt Head Coach Dave Wannstedt has never hid the fact that Florida is one of the main priorities that the Panthers would recruit on an annual basis. And this is certainly the case again as the Panthers look to fill their class of 2007. recently spoke with a defensive back from the Sunshine State that already has a coveted offer from the Panthers.

Antwon Murray (Kathleen Senior High School, Lakeland Florida) is considered one of the top defensive backfield recruits from the state of Florida. Murray was on his way to a camp being held at Ole Miss when caught up with him to talk about his recruiting. Murray has over ten offers from some of the top programs in the country. One of those offers came from the Panthers, and he said it was one offer he wasn't really expecting to receive.

"I was surprised," said Murray. "I had never received any letters from [Pitt]."

When asked about his top five he offered Iowa State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Alabama and Pitt. But does Murray currently have a favorite?

"Iowa State is my number one."

Despite the surprise offer from the Panthers and having Iowa State as his current top choice, Murray seems to be warming up to the Panthers. He is being recruited by Pitt coach Aubrey Hill, who covers Florida for the Panthers. Murray offered his opinion of Hill and the Pitt football program.

"I talk to Coach Hill. He's a real respectable guy," said Murray. "I think Pitt is an up and coming program in college football."

Murray is 5' 10" tall, weighs165 lbs, and runs a 4.5 forty yard dash. Last year he went up against many of the top wide receivers in Florida and ended up with five interceptions. Despite having the skills and stats of a top recruit, he went on to describe further what he feels are his best qualities as a football player.

"The way I play the game, I have respect for the game. I play with a lot of emotion and passion."

Despite his own talents and love for playing football, Murray also gives a lot of credit to his head football coach at Lakeland, Brian Armstrong.

"He helped me a lot. He helped me get this far. He's a great salesman, he sells…we buy what he says."

Murray said after he gets back from Ole Miss he will get right back on a plane to fly to Alabama. Despite what is shaping up to be a busy senior year, he is planning to make all five of his allotted official visits this fall (including a possible trip to Pittsburgh) before making a final decision on where he will commit.

Steve Gephart can be reached at

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