‘You learn so much’: DeMarco Murray’s NFL experience valuable for Sooners running backs
DeMarco Murray has been on a roll over the last couple of recruiting cycles. He’s helped the Oklahoma Sooners land a pair of four-star running backs in back-to-back recruiting classes.
And it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. The Sooners have been projected to land four-star running back Jeremy Payne in the 2024 cycle and are trending in a positive direction with Caden Durham, another four-star runner.
His experience as a highly-productive collegiate and NFL runner is paying dividends for the Oklahoma Sooners on the recruiting trail and in Norman. It’s that experience that former running back Jaden Knowles pointed to when asked about DeMarco Murray and his impact on “The Weatherman.”
“By far my favorite coach ever by far,” Knowles shared with The Rush on 94.7 The Ref in Norman. “We had a great connection. I learned so much from him when I first got here at OU. He just took my game to the next level because you learned so much from different eyes. Especially from somebody who was in the NFL, and you know, exceeded in the NFL. You learn so much stuff because you think you already know a lot about football and how to run the ball because you’ve been doing it for your entire life. But there’s some things that I’ve learned that I never thought of and that, you know, I translated to the field, which helped me a lot, you know, gave me an opportunity in 2021 season. You know, I’m just so thankful for him and wish him the best.”
Knowles was able to get some run in the 2021 season as Kennedy Brooks worked his way back after his opt-out season in 2020, and Eric Gray got up to speed with the Sooners’ offense.
The Sooners were the beneficiaries of a breakout season from Eric Gray, someone who’d been lost in the shuffle in 2021 under the previous regime. And with DeMarco Murray leading the way, Oklahoma looks to have a pair of runners that will be highly impactful in 2023 as well.
Jovantae Barnes and Gavin Sawchuk led the way for the Sooners’ offense in the Cheez-It Bowl loss to Florida State, each going over 100 yards rushing. They ran hard, and they were decisive in a game where Oklahoma was rolling out four new offensive linemen against a really good Seminoles defensive front.
DeMarco Murray has had a huge impact for the Oklahoma Sooners as a recruiter and as a coach. In Jeff Lebby’s offense, the running game is the engine that makes it go. What Murray has done on the recruiting trail and on the development side, he’ll have the Sooners rushing attack humming for as long as he is in Norman.
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