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July 22, 2008

Murray discusses commitment to Maryland

Division I college football coaches haven’t made a habit of recruiting West Florence High School in South Carolina.

“It’s traditionally not a type of school that’s put a lot of kids in major colleges,” West Florence head coach Trey Woodberry said.

According to Woodberry, West Florence’s off-the-radar status as a DI prospect-producing program helps explain the case of linebacker Avery Murray, who committed to Maryland last week.

Murray picked the Terps over offers from Buffalo and Middle Tennessee State. But it’s unlikely the UM staff would’ve found the 6-foot, 219-pounder had it not been for a highly-touted teammate.

“We’ve got a defensive end, Malliciah Goodman,” Woodberry said. “He’s committed to Clemson. I think Rivals has him at like 35 [in the country]. He’s the top-ranked kid in South Carolina. [Maryland] came to recruit him during the spring.

“[The UM staff was] just looking at other kids that we had and saw some tape on [Murray]. ... [He went to College Park for a visit and] they offered him pretty soon after that.”

Murray said he was initially a little wary of leaving the south for college. But his relationship with his recruiter and future position coach Al Seamonson alleviated many of those concerns regarding distance.

“He’s a real cool guy,” Murray said. “... He made me feel comfortable. He never put pressure on me to commit and just let me take my time. That’s what made the recruiting process a lot easier.”

Murray, who recorded 98 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions as a junior, is tentatively slated for SAM linebacker, but Woodberry thinks he’s versatile enough to play more than one spot.

“He’s big enough to play inside but he’s fast enough to play outside,” Woodberry said. “He’s very physical, very athletic and he’s also a very smart kid as well. He fits their system very well and fits the typical Maryland linebacker they’ve had the past few years.”

The only question for Murray is when he’ll enroll at College Park. Murray has more than enough credits to graduate early, and the Terps coaches have mentioned the possibility of enrolling in January so he can be with the team for spring practice.

“I’ve thought about it a lot,” Murray said. “Senior year, you only go through it once. But it all depends. If [the Maryland coaches] need me, I can do it. If not, I’ll stay here a little bit longer.”

Murray, who intends to study physical therapy at UM, said whether he enrolls early or waits until next fall doesn’t really matter. He’s just excited to have found a home.

“It feels real good,” Murray said. “There’s no stress whatsoever. I know where I’m going and I don’t have to worry about any other school.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:18 AM | | Comments (2)


i wasnt so sure about this kid, then i watched he;s flim wow its outstanding.
He looked like a Rb taking back ints to the home.
i think he will be a 3 star kid by signing day.

I don't understand why you aren't also the beat writer for Maryland. Why do we have to put up with "one stuck in the past" and one PSU alum? I guess next Franco Harris will cover the Ravens. Given such a great job covering national and local news and features, the Sun makes very interesting decisions on who they choose to cover some local sports (a.k.a. MD).

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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