Each and every recruiting cycle there are players who become one of the hot names of the spring evaluation period. They either come from out of nowhere when coaches discover them on the road this time of year, or like Fort Bend (TX) Elkins linebacker Kenneth Murray did this spring, they show enough growth and development that coaches who had been keeping an eye on them feel they have seen enough to offer as well.
Murray’s recruitment has almost been two separate events, before spring evaluations and after. Before them, he admittedly was close to committing to the Houston Cougars following their spring game. At the advice of his father, he paused to make sure it felt right. Shortly after that the evaluation period started and the offers started rolling in for Murray.
Despite not pulling the trigger with the Cougars nearly two months ago, he has remained in close contact with them and still considers them a real option to land his verbal commitment.
“They are still right up there for me, I’m not going to take them down,” said the 6-foot-2, 215 pound three star prospect. “They were an early offer and I’ve spent a lot of time there so I’m not taking them down any.”
In addition to all of the time he spent with the Cougars in the spring, one key thing they caught during his dealings with them on his academic forecast is one that could have saved him some real issues down the road.
“If it weren’t for Houston I probably wouldn’t have even been eligible to come into any school this January,” said Murray of a class that he was supposed to take. “They pointed out a class that wasn’t certified that if I had taken it wouldn’t have counted and I wouldn’t have been enrolling mid-year.”
Another offer Murray picked up during his whirlwind spring was from the Texas A&M Aggies and Murray showed them a little attention on Twitter after some good conversations with defensive coordinator and linebackers coach John Chavis.
“I was just showing some love to them,” Murray said of his simple tweet. “I’ve been talking with coach (John) Chavis and I plan on going up to the Bar-B-Q they are having (June 11). I have not been up to their football facilities before so I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the facilities and talking with coach Sumlin some too. From what everybody tells me they are supposed to have the best facilities in the country. That isn’t something that will make a decision for me but it is nice to have if you go there.”
With the Aggies being a more recent offer, that relationship is still growing but it is growing and more rapidly lately.
“We have actually been talking more and more, sharing direct messages and stuff,” Murray said of his growing relationship with Chavis. “For the longest I had been dealing mostly with coach (Clarence) McKinney who is my area recruiter but lately I have been talking with coach Chavis more which is a good thing since he is my position coach.”
One other visit Murray is trying to get scheduled in the short term is another in-state school who made his top 10.
“I’m going to try and go by and visit the Longhorns the day before the trip to A&M (June 10),” Murray said. “I am talking with my dad about trying to go by there before we go to College Station.”
One other interesting inclusion in Murray’s top ten was the Baylor Bears who were included just days after the news head coach Art Briles was among many who had lost their job through the recent fallout. Murray had a good viewpoint on why he included the Bears in his grouping.
“The main reason why I included them in my top ten is that I don’t really believe in condemning someone after they made a mistake. Obviously they made a mistake and they are paying the consequences of those mistakes but at the same time they are still a great school and once they recover from that they will be a great school and great football program again. It just gives me something to look into and watch how that plays out with them.”
At one point Murray felt confident he would have a decision made by the end of summer but he knows now that if it doesn’t feel right by then he isn’t going to rush into a decision.
“I really wanted to make a decision by the end of the summer but I know if it doesn’t feel right by then, it may linger on,” he said. I plan on taking all five of my officials regardless so we’ll see when it feels right on making a decision.”