Vaught's Views: Murrell waiting for offer

July 11, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

LEBANON - Jonas Murrell knows his team is not one that garners statewide respect, but he still thought his talent would interest college football recruiters.

He's a 6-3, 315-pound defensive lineman at Marion County. He has been timed in the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds and thinks he can go faster. He's bench pressed 335 pounds and at a combine in Louisville he was able to bench press 185 pounds 21 times for the college coaches.

Need more?

He went to the Miami (Fla.) camp this summer and won the top defensive lineman award. He went to Michigan and took the same award. He also had an impressive workout at Ohio State.

He says what he does best is "come off the ball" and that he learned moves at camp that will make him even more difficult to block this season.


Yet he's still waiting for a scholarship offer.

"I knew I wasn't going to get much recognition from a team that went 0-10," said Murrell. "I thought the Kentucky and Louisville coaches already knew about me, so I wanted to go to camps where I would be tested and show people what I could do. I think I did a pretty good job of that, too."

He picked Miami because the number of NFL first-round draft picks the Hurricanes seem to produce annually. One player he met - and competed against - there was Murray offensive lineman Cory Zirbel, who won the top offensive lineman award. Unlike Murrell, Zirbel already has so many scholarship offers that he's narrowed his list.

"I was hoping I would get some offers by now. I don't know what the problem is," Murrell said. "I am not too worried about it yet. I have a good ranking by the recruiting guys. I know I can play, but it is kind of weird that I don't have any offers."

He says Zirbel has even called to ask why no offers have come his way after his impressive camp workouts. Murrell has seen both UK and Louisville offer other in-state players without making the same offer to him.

"I've got a ton of letters, but no offers. I don't see why I don't have any," he said.

He's particularly miffed at UK

He's particularly miffed at UK because an assistant coach told him he was "wasting" his time by attending Miami's camp. Since he won the award there, Murrell said UK coaches have not contacted him.

"They have not offered me and they are not blowing up my phone. I have not got a call from them in at least two months," Murrell said. "Maybe UK doesn't even know what I've been doing.

"Right now I would rather go to Louisville than Kentucky. They seem to be more of a rising program. They are even playing Miami this year. I like what they are doing. UK is just staying the same. I've really not even thought a lot about them recently."

He has Miami, Auburn, Louisville and Arkansas at the top of his wish list. However, he also has another wish - a successful senior season.

"All the camp awards are nice, but I would rather win some games than just have a good senior year for myself," he said. "I don't know if we will be better or not, but I sure hope so."

He'll play against two area teams - Lincoln County and Boyle County - again this year. The Rebels beat Marion 58-0 and 63-0 the last two years and won state titles each season.

"They are great. I have always had one of my best games against them, but maybe it was because I knew our chances of winning were slim and none," Murrell said. "I see some of their players occasionally and will talk to them. I have no grudge. They are just better than us.

"They are always so energetic and in such great shape. They don't have any weak links. They get to play in the state championship game every year. They have everything going their way. I wish our team could be like that. Probably everybody right now wishes that."

They should. But one would also think that a lot of colleges might be wishing to have a defensive lineman with Murrell's credentials.

"I don't know what is going on with the recruiters," he said. "I've shown I can hold my own with the best out there. Now there's nothing I can do but wait for the coaches to call."

Central Kentucky News Articles