How good is DeMarco Murray?

Touchdown Murray

Touchdown Murray

RB DeMarco Murray, So., 6-0, 191, Oklahoma. Scout’s take: “Bob (Stoops) has had a bunch of terrific runners there, and I’m telling you, this kid could be his best. Including Adrian Peterson. His speed, he hits the high gear immediately. He’s a hard runner, but he’s not the tough inside guy Peterson was. At least not yet.” Link

James Hale talks to Cale Gundy

here’s a bit about our running backs

JH: You lost the seventh pick in the NFL draft in Adrian Peterson at your position. But while you may not have a running back as good as Adrian coming back, you have a deeper group of running backs, don’t you?

CG: “Yeah, I do. I don’t want to over do it, but I think I have a really good group. I would like to see a better running back group in the country. I am talking overall. I have five young men that are talented and they all are good in their own ways. I want to see the best three running backs at any school, and I want to match them up against my best three running backs. They are good kids who work hard, but they still have to go out and prove it in the fall when we play the games on Saturday’s. I feel comfortable with who I have.”

JH: DeMarco Murray was so good in the spring that people have forgotten how good Allen Patrick is.

CG: “That is right, because A.P. is good. DeMarco is good as well, as is Chris Brown. There are some guys who will argue on our staff that Chris Brown, throughout the course of the year day-in and day-out, is our best running back. I can’t argue with that as well. They all specialize in different areas. Chris is the most solid overall running back that we have. DeMarco Murray is a guy who can get out and play wide receiver and who can create so many plays on his own.

“Allen Patrick is a true tailback who is going to play hard and physical. Mossis Madu has a little DeMarco Murray in him, and who is electrifying. Then you have a guy like Jacob Guiterrez, who has been around here for years. He is your constant guy who you can trust day-in and day-out. Jacob can step in at any time and help you win.”

JH: Are the running backs different enough that when they are in the game they can present different problems for the defense?

CG: “That is correct. You can’t sit back there on defense and kind of suspect the same old things with our running backs. Those linebackers and safeties are running alleys to tackle people. They are running alleys and filling lanes for Chris Brown, and then next time they have to run an angle for Allen Patrick or DeMarco Murray, who are going to be much different. If you took that same angle that you took on the other one, you are not going to get to the other one. Those are little, bitty things that are important.”

Here is the complete article 

Columbiatribune.com lists the top 12 Big 12 Running Backs, the list SUCKS

12. Chris Alexander, Texas A&M: These days, few teams employ a true fullback like Alexander. The 250-pound blocking back doesn’t get many carries, but he catches the occasional pass, including three for touchdowns last year.

11. Keith Totson, Oklahoma State: Running in the shadow of one of the league’s best backs – keep reading – Totson quietly put together an impressive freshman season last year, averaging almost 6 yards per carry.

10. Hugh Charles, Colorado: Charles has put together a solid career during what’s been an ugly few years for offense in Boulder. He’s carried the ball more than any other back in the league, but has scored only seven touchdowns.

9. James Johnson, Kansas State: It’s possible Johnson might not be the best back on K-State’s roster. The Wildcats waited until midway through the season to give Johnson and freshman Leon Patton extensive playing time last year, but the older Johnson has been a more polished blocker and receiver than Patton, who rushed for more yards and touchdowns last year. Expect them to split carries again this year, though Johnson is the expected starter.

8. Shannon Woods, Texas Tech: If he ever gets out of Mike Leach’s doghouse, Woods could build on a breakthrough sophomore season when he led the league in all-purpose yards. Kobey Lewis was Leach’s preferred back during the spring, but Woods was too productive to be a spectator.

7. Marlon Lucky, Nebraska: For the first time this fall, Lucky should be the featured back for Nebraska now that injuries and defections have depleted the backfield. His only 100-yard games have come against Nicholls State and Troy, but in two seasons, Lucky has carried the ball more than 18 times just once. Other than Texas Tech’s Woods, Lucky is the best receiving threat on this list.

6. Jorvorskie Lane, Texas A&M: At 275 pounds, Lane looks more like a nose tackle. He’s the best short-yardage runner in the country but nimble enough to serve as an every-down tailback. Here’s a great Lane statistic: On 29 third- and fourth-down carries last year, he either scored a touchdown or gained a first down 26 times.

5. Allen Patrick, Oklahoma: When Peterson went down last year, this rugged north-south runner actually improved Oklahoma’s running statistics. His style isn’t fancy – nor did he catch a pass last year – but he proved his toughness logging three consecutive games of 30-plus carries. Minor injuries broke him down late in the season.

4. Dantrell Savage, Oklahoma State: If not for Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, this junior college transfer should have been the league’s newcomer of the year in 2006. Only Peterson and Kansas’ Jon Cornish produced more 100-yard games than Savage’s five. The 5-9, 190-pound speedster didn’t get significant carries until midway through the season, but he made the most of his chances with 100-yard games against Texas A&M, Nebraska, Baylor, Texas Tech and Alabama in the Independence Bowl.

3. Tony Temple, Missouri: You can make a case that Temple’s 2006 rushing yardage – 1,063, more than any other returning Big 12 back – was skewed because of his 194-yard outburst against Oregon State in the Sun Bowl represented 18 percent of his season total. That doesn’t change the fact that Temple established himself as one of the league’s elite backs. He committed costly fumbles against Texas A&M and Oklahoma but overcame the other black mark on his résumé: For the first time in his career, Temple didn’t let injuries keep him on the sideline as he lugged the ball 15 or more times in eight games. He isn’t much of a receiving threat – just 22 career receptions – but remains as elusive and explosive as most backs on this list.

2. Jamaal Charles, Texas: Charles might never reproduce his brilliant 2005 season when he averaged almost 8 yards per carry. Last year, with McCoy replacing Vince Young at quarterback, defenses focused their attention on Charles. He logged more carries, but the explosive plays weren’t there, as he averaged 2 fewer yards per carry. Despite an offensive line that included two NFL draft picks, Charles’ only 100-yard game came in September against Rice. That was enough to keep him out of the top spot.

1. Mike Goodson, Texas A&M: How can a player with only one career 100-yard game and four touchdowns top this list? Just look what Goodson did last year in limited duty against A&M’s best competition: 10 carries for 127 yards against Oklahoma … 11 for 80 against Nebraska … 15 for 86 against Texas. Had fumble issues not kept Goodson on the bench early in the year, his breakthrough would have come sooner.

Best RB in the Big 12, DeMarco Murray, wake up people, he was the number 1 RB coming out of HS, (ESPN.com), he redshirted, has avged 11 a carry in spring ball. Okay don’t put him number 1, but have him in the Top 12. And Chris Brown is just HONORABLE MENTION? he’s not better than half those guys listed?
OU should have 3 players in the top 10.
Make that list in December, you would have 3 OU players on it. I guarantee it!

Link to the article

EDIT: Well its June 17th and CollegeFootballNews.com has its OU preview, and guess what they said about OU’s running backs?

Outlook… OU has three backs who could be First Team All-Big 12 performers with the full-time workload. Patrick, Allen and Murray were all superstar recruits, and they run like it. There’s an embarrassment of riches in the backfield in what should be one of the nation’s most effective ground games. Call if a perfect convergence of fast, talented backs working behind a tremendous line.

3 Sooners in the Top 5 Newcomers To the Big 12

5. Mike Reed, LB, Oklahoma (transfer): Meet the next great Oklahoma linebacker. Reed, a midyear transfer from Yuba College in Marysville, Calif., won a starting job at middle linebacker after a spectacular spring.

“That’s the guy we recruited … He’s knocked the snot out of a bunch of guys since he’s been here,” OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said after the spring game.

4. Phil Loadholt, OT, Oklahoma (transfer): The Sooners lose All-Big 12 left tackle Chris Messner but reload with “The Load.” The 6-foot-8, 350-pound Loadholt, a transfer from Garden City, Kan., Community College, has already been called the biggest player in OU history. A foot stress fracture limited him to only five spring practices, but he’ll likely start at left tackle on what could be the best offensive line in the Big 12. Whoever wins OU’s quarterback derby should have his backside kept clean.

3. DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma (redshirt freshman): Three Sooners in the top five? That’s how well Oklahoma has recruited lately. If not for Oklahoma’s ridiculous wealth of running back talent, Murray might be considered one of the country’s most exciting players for 2007. He was certainly OU’s most explosive back during the spring, which concluded with his four-carry, 103-yard day in the final scrimmage. One local writer wrote that Murray’s spring performance might have been the most impressive spring by any OU player – ever.

Fighting a case of turf toe – plus a depth chart that included Adrian Peterson – Murray settled for scout-team duty last season. That will change this fall when OU leans on Allen Patrick and Murray to carry an offense that will start a new quarterback.

Full List

Ivan Maisel wants to see what DeMarco Murray can do this fall

 Three Things I Can’t Wait To See This Fall In The Big 12

. No other conference has more interesting stories at quarterback: Sam Keller taking over at Nebraska, Cody Hawkins possibly trying to resuscitate his father’s offense at Colorado and Stephen McGee and Colt McCoy coming into their own at Texas A&M and Texas, respectively. Offense will be fun in the Big 12 this fall.

2. Oklahoma freshman DeMarco Murray ran so well this spring (four carries, 103 yards, one touchdown in the spring game) that he made Sooner fans stop weeping over the loss of Adrian Peterson. You never know how that type of performance will weather the trip from spring to fall, but Murray has shown nothing but promise.

3. Iowa State forced only 15 turnovers last season, last in the league. Texas forced 32 turnovers last season, tied for first in the league. Now that Longhorns defensive coordinator Gene Chizik has taken over as head coach of the Cyclones, we should find out how much difference an emphasis on takeaways can make.

Bruce Feldman lists the Top 10 Spring Performers, DeMarco Murray #1

1. DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma: No one is intimating that the Sooners aren’t going to miss the great Adrian Peterson, but it looks like the Sooners are still in really good shape in the post-AP era. Hard-running Allen Patrick will provide the toughness and the explosive Murray, a redshirt freshman from Vegas will provide the burst. Murray, a stunning blend of moves and speed, averaged over 11 yards per carry in OU’s three spring scrimmages. He also has very good hands.

2. Rejus Benn, WR, Illinois: Big, fast and confident, Benn lit up the Illini spring, teaming with Juice Williams to give Ron Zook some hope to at least double the win total from last year. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound frosh caught five passes for 145 yards in the Illini’s spring game. Three plays went for 30 yards or more. Benn, a much-needed big-play threat, is a huge reason why Williams (39.5 percent completion rate) should be one of the country’s most improved players in 2007.

3. Cullen Harper, QB, Clemson: The Willy Korn Era in Tigerland is on hold for a little while thanks to the emergence of the Georgia-native. Listening to someone close to the Tigers program, Harper, a junior, was a guy most folks around there had already written off. From the way he played during the spring, completing 42 of 64 passes for 447 yards in three spring scrimmages, it had some folks shaking their heads wondering why the coaches didn’t give him a shot when Will Proctor was struggling so much last season.

4. Brandon Bair, DE, Oregon: The 6-7, 250-pound Idaho-native will actually be a 23-year-old freshman this season after having served two years on a mission, but he certainly appeared to be in a hurry to make an impact on the Ducks D this spring. The one-time tight end prospect was all over the field in spring scrimmages and might’ve won a starting job on the revamped Oregon line.

5. Graig Cooper, RB-KR, Miami: The Canes haven’t had a true home-run hitting threat in their backfield since Willis McGahee was in Coral Gables, but the 5-11, 195-pound Cooper did enough to have UM insiders excited. In fact, Cooper, a dynamic combination of speed and shiftiness, was so impressive early in the spring he had former UM star Edgerrin James saying that Cooper, not his own cousin Javarris James was the best back Miami had. In reality, if the Canes are to get back to national prominence this fall, they’ll need both backs to take some heat off the QB situation there.

6. Greg Matthews, WR, Michigan: There are quite a few questions about the Wolverine receiving corps coming out of the spring (most notably the status of suspended WR Adrian Arrington and the return of injured Mario Manningham), but the 6-2 Matthews came through with a strong performance showing reliable hands.

7. David Bruton, DB, Notre Dame: The Irish are desperate for defensive help and Bruton might have been their best player for much of the spring. He returned a pick for a touchdown and had a few big hits in their spring game, winning MVP honors. He should bring some much-needed speed into the secondary.

8. Louie Murphy, WR, Florida: Urban Meyer wasn’t short on receiving talent to begin with, but Murphy, perhaps his most polished wideout, came through with a great spring. The 6-2, 199-pound junior, who only had two receptions in 2006, caught eight passes for 129 yards in the Gators spring game.

9. Neefy Moffett, DE, FSU: The FSU coaches no longer ride him for being lazy as the speedy edge rusher has really begun to mature for them both physically and mentally. Moffett came to FSU as a 215-pounder and now is around 250, but looks just as quick as ever. From sources inside FSU, Jimbo Fisher couldn’t stop raving about him.

10. Brandon Gibson, WR, Washington State: The Cougars will miss departed star Jason Hill, but Gibson, a junior, showed play-making skills that had the coaches optimistic, scoring on one long touchdown reception and another TD on an 89-yard kickoff return in the spring game. He should team with the very underrated Alex Brink for an exciting combination in the fall.

Just Missed the Cut: Maurice Moore, WR, Wisconsin; Larry Grant, LB, OSU; Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech; Reid Neely, OG, Ole Miss; Joe Craddock, QB, Middle Tennessee; Knowshon Moreno, TB, Georgia; Matt Robinson, DE, Wake Forest; Joe Dailey, WR, UNC; Scott Lutrus, LB, UConn.