Player Profile #59 – RB DeMarco Murray

DeMarco Murray has learned how to overcome adversity many times during his football career.

While establishing a place in the University of Oklahoma record books during his four seasons with the Sooners, Murray’s career never quite hit full speed because of numerous injuries while he was in Norman. His only chance to play for a national championship found him on the sidelines thanks to a dislocated knee cap. Murray learned how to deal with those frustrating times thanks experiences from disappointments during his high school career in Las Vegas. That includes a brawl after a game in the 2003 state playoffs and one year later, Murray fumbled at the two-yard line in overtime leading to another post-season loss.

“I know he cried a lot after the fumble,” said Murray’s coach at Bishop Gorman High School David White. “It’s made him grow up a lot quicker than he really wanted to and any average high school kid would like; he went through a lot. He took a lot of weight on his shoulders; he felt like it was his fault. He puts a lot of pressure on himself to be what everybody thinks he’s going to be.”

Here’s the rest of his story.

FAMILY MATTERS

DeMarco Murray.

Born – February 12, 1988 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Family – Parents are Kevin Murray and Lorraine Travis. DeMarco is the youngest of four boys. “He was the smallest kid,” said Kevin Murray. “He always played with his older brothers and they made him tough.”

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 5-feet, 11Β½ inches.
  • Weight – 213 pounds.
  • Arm – 32 inches.
  • Hand – 9ΒΌ inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.37 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.53 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.52 seconds.
  • Bench press – 21 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 48Β½ inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 10 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Murray was part of the graduating class of 2006 at Bishop Gorman High School, part of the Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada. He played for head football coach David White and helped lead the Gaels for three seasons.

In his senior season, Murray was the Sunset Region Offensive Player of the Year.

He led his Bishop Gorman basketball team to a Class 4A state title in 2005; he was considered a top 30 national recruit in basketball.

FOOTBALL

2005 – He ran for 1,947 yards and 27 TDs, while catching 22 passes for 624 yards and 7 TDs.

2004 – Murray ran for 1,210 yards and 12 TDs. Β Β Β Β 

2003 – He got limited playing time as a sophomore, including running for 273 yards in one game.

RECRUITING

Murray received scholarship offers from Miami, Penn State, Florida, Texas A&M, Southern Cal and Oklahoma. When he was done sorting through the schools it came down to Southern Cal, Florida and OU. Participating at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he committed to Oklahoma.

COLLEGE

Murray received his bachelor’s degree in Communications in 2010 from the University of Oklahoma.

He was honored numerous times within the Big 12 Conference during his career. He was All-Big 12 first team offense in 2008, 2010, All-Big 12 second team offense in 2009 and he was honored three times on the Academic All-Big 12 team.

He is only the second Oklahoma player to top 1,000 yards in 3 different categories: 3,524 rushing yards, 1,512 receiving and 1,462 in kick returns. He’s No. 6 in OU history with rushing yards. There were 13 games in his career with 100+ rushing yards and three games with 100 yards or more in receiving.

2010 – Murray had a career high 208 yards rushing against Utah State on career high 35 carries. He also had a 76-yard TD catch against Baylor.

2009 – He had 143 receiving yards against Texas A&M and caught eight passes against Texas. Murray also posted a pair of 100-yard rushing games.

2008 – A torn hamstring on the opening kickoff of Big 12 Championship Game sidelined him and he missed the BCS game. He set an OU single season record for all purpose yards with 2,171 yards. He was the team’s leading kick returner with 774 yards and had 196 yards in kickoff returns against Oklahoma State.

2007 – In his first college game, Murray ran for 201 yards and 5 TDs against North Texas. He was the first player to score 4 TDs in a half in his Sooners debut. He had a 92-yard TD run against Utah State. He averaged 29.3 yards on kickoff returns, including a 91-yard return against Baylor and an 81-yard return against Tulsa. His 15 TDs tied the Sooners freshman record set by Adrian Peterson.

2006 – Redshirt season.

Year

G

S

Att.

Yds.

LG

TD

Rec.

Yds.

TD

LG

2010

14

14

282

1,214

63

15

71

594

5

76

2009

12

5

171

705

38

8

41

522

4

67

2008

13

12

179

1,002

70

14

31

395

0

34

2007

11

1

127

764

92

13

14

60

2

25

Totals

50

32

759

3,685

92

50

157

1,571

11

76

MEDICAL

“It’s hard for me to deal with injuries. I never sprained an ankle or hurt a pinkie in high school.” – DeMarco Murray.

His Oklahoma career was pocked by injuries, with various maladies costing him game and practice time.

2010 – In the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State, Murray took a helmet on his left knee and left the game. He came back and played the next week against Nebraska. He also dealt with bruised ribs, but did not miss a game.

2009 – A sprained left ankle at mid-season cost him a game and limited him over the second half of the schedule. It’s one of the reasons why he ran for just 705 yards.

2008 – He suffered a ruptured left hamstring injury on the opening kickoff of the Big 12 Championship Game. He did not return to the game and almost missed the BCS Championship Game.

2007 – Against Texas Tech, Murray suffered a dislocated right knee cap and missed the rest of the season. The injury occurred during an onside kick in the closing seconds of OU’s loss at Texas Tech. “I just know I tried to jump and kind of jumped wrong on the side of my foot,” Murray said. “My patellar shifted over and I chipped some cartilage underneath my kneecap.”

2006 – Murray ended up taking a redshirt season in his first year on campus in Norman due to a turf toe injury.

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Physically gifted back that runs with power and is tough between the tackles. If he gets outside, he can make defensive players look like they are standing still. He’s a patient runner and is always pushing forward; on 759 carries he lost just 134 rushing yards. Murray is quick getting to the hole, plus he’s shown good vision and has enough power to break through initial contact. Top notch as a receiver out of the backfield, plus he is a willing blocker in pass protection.

Weaknesses – Although he sometimes runs like it, Murray is not a power back and can’t be run as such. He will sometimes run upright and when that happens he takes extra pounding that he can’t afford given his injury history. He’s got to get his pad level lower. Ball security is something that will need work as well. When he gets open field, he gets careless with the rock and that’s asking for savvy NFL defensive guys to knock it out. He needs to pull it high and tight.

Analysis – His production at OU was hurt by injury and that’s obviously a concern for the NFL. You can’t make the club in the tub, and unfortunately he’s spent a lot of time submerged getting his body ready to return. Now, the pro guys are bigger, faster, stronger and hit with more power. It’s hard to see Murray as a feature back with most teams. His best fit is likely to be as a third-down back.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

A scout for an AFC team said – “Durability is an obvious problem. If a team is willing to overlook his missed time due to injury in both games and practices, then he’ll go in the first round. He has that kind of talent.”

An offensive coordinator for an NFC team said – “If he can stay on the field, he’ll have an impact. I really like him because of his abilities as a receiver. He can be a three-down back.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

“Nothing is going to be handed to me. My mentality has to be to just keep getting better and to be a hard worker.”

“I’ve always prided myself on being a tough player, never giving up and never quitting. It just kind of stayed with me throughout life.”

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT HIM

Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops – “DeMarco Murray has a chance to be a really special player and he is just such a good athlete. It is fun to watch him. He has got great hands and I have said it before he could be an All-American at corner, receiver or running back. He just has that ability to do about anything he wants and he could have no problem to play college basketball if he wants. It is just amazing. His upside and what is potential is really is quite vast.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

Murray is a talented guy, but his injury history creates questions about availability and that’s not going to work well with Pioli/Haley. The Chiefs need another running back in the pipeline, but Murray doesn’t really come across as a good fit for that role at this time.

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