The Right Mindset

Opponents of Thibodaux High School are wise not to throw the football in the direction of CB Cartel Murray, who is one of the most underrated players in the state. Murray will go head-to-head with several high-profile wide receivers this year. Find out about those matchups and learn more about the rest of the Tigers.

Thibodaux cornerback Cartel Murray is selfish when it comes to denying wide receivers, but he takes the opposite tact when it comes to talking about himself.

"I feel like I'm talking about myself too much," said Murray at the conclusion of an interview yesterday. "I don't think I'm giving my teammates and my coaches enough credit.

"When we break out of our team huddle on the field, we always yell 'Family!'. We stay together as a team, just like a close-knit family. We're going to bring it all together this year."

This season, Murray will get the chance to shut down several of the top WRs in Louisiana, beginning with an upcoming scrimmage vs. St. Paul's on August 20th.

"I'm looking forward to going against Jermaine Sams in the scrimmage," said Murray. "That's going to be a good warm-up for the season. There will be another interesting matchup on the line of scrimmage with (four-star OL) Greg Robinson and (four-star DT) Mickey Johnson.

"I'll be covering (three-star CB/WR) Daren Kitchen when we play Vandebilt Catholic. I was talking with Daren the other day about that game. We were teammates this summer on the Louisiana 7-on-7 team that went to the Badger National Tournament in Alabama."

The biggest stage for Murray, however, could come in the season opener against McDonogh 35's high-octane offense, which is powered by Kentucky commit QB Theltus Cobbins and WRs Charles Henderson and Trey Carter. Henderson, a Utah commit, has offers from SMU and Colorado, among other schools, while Carter averaged more than 20 yards per catch as a junior.

"I'm really excited about the McDonogh game," said Murray. "Everyone is loving that game. A lot of people have been commenting and talking about it.

"Last year, that was a close game, with us winning 21-20. Charles Henderson is a good athlete. He'll dive, go up and make catch, and do whatever it takes to get the football. That will be my big matchup on defense."

In the second week of the season, Murray will square off with Destrehan and WR Rickey Jefferson, younger brother of LSU QB Jordan Jefferson.

"I've been looking for film on him for three weeks," said Murray. "I know that (cornerback) Stephen Smith, who plays for Slidell, had good success against Destrehan last year when he was still at St. Paul's. I've talked to Stephen about the Destrehan game, to see what he did last year against them."

Late in the season, Murray will face another stern test vs. St. Augustine, which features wideouts Marc Edwards (Tulane commit) and Dwayne Williams. Despite a sensational junior highlight tape - coupled with a strong performance on the summer camp circuit - Murray is still waiting for his first scholarship offer.

"SMU says that they love my film," he said. "They love me as a player, so I don't know what's keeping them from pulling the trigger. I talk to coach (Jeff) Reinebold all the time - several days each week.

"I haven't spoken with Louisiana Tech since June, but they were the first school to show interest, and I think they're going to get out to some of my games. I'm also hearing from Illinois, Southern Miss, ULM, and Miami. Coach (John) Lovett, the defensive coordinator at Miami, got my film after watching me at the Badger 7-on-7."

Thibodaux, one year removed from an appearance in the Class 5A quarterfinals, should make another deep run in the 2010 playoffs.

"Greg Robinson, he's a freak of nature," said Murray of his teammate. "He's huge but he's also athletic enough to really play any position. He works hard and is violent between the sidelines. Our linebacker, Trey Granier, is a leader on and off the field. He gets the players right and holds himself and others accountable.

"Raheem Richard, who is one of our running backs, is really fast and shifty. I call him 'Lil Reggie Bush' and he's going to shine this year. Our other running back, Joshua Johnson, is like Granier. He's a natural born leader and may be the hardest worker on the team. He has sneaky speed and should do really well."

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