Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay recruiting notebook

Wharton’s Marvin Murray was a first-team all-Western Conference pick but says a 3-7 season hurt his chances of getting noticed.

Special to the Times

Wharton’s Marvin Murray was a first-team all-Western Conference pick but says a 3-7 season hurt his chances of getting noticed.

As the class of 2011 rounds into final form before signing day Wednesday — Hillsborough's Jamie Knott and Andre Gunn, Plant's Eric Patterson and Bobby Richardson, and Hudson's Gary Myrick are taking visits hoping to nail down a decision — some Tampa Bay area standouts are still hoping to pick up their first offer, such as Wharton WR Marvin Murray.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder flew to West Virginia on Saturday morning, hopeful of landing an offer from West Liberty, which he said he would probably accept on the spot.

Murray is off the recruiting radar despite good size and speed and a senior season that resulted in 31 catches for 570 yards and seven total touchdowns.

He was the team offensive MVP for the Wildcats and a first-team All-Western Conference pick, but a 3-7 record didn't help raise his profile.

He doesn't describe the process as frustrating, and he has remained upbeat while looking for a school.

A month ago, West Liberty called him. Murray was told people there were impressed by the film on him and wanted him to visit.

"I'm excited," said Murray, who is visiting with teammate and S Tanner Stocker, whose father is a West Liberty graduate. "Being on a 3-7 team, it was kind of hard to get noticed. It's good to go a big-name school, but if you can go anywhere that gives you a good education and you can play football, you have to be excited by it."

West Liberty is a Division II school in West Liberty, W. Va., and last season was ranked No. 8 in the preseason.

The team finished 7-3, averaged 46 points a game and scored 82 in one of its regular-season contests.

Hilltoppers QB Zach Amedro threw for more than 4,000 yards, and the team had six players with at least 400 yards receiving, numbers that excite the offensive-minded Murray. He has done his research and likes what he sees.

"I don't want to jinx myself," he said.

QB Weatherford chooses Cincinnati

Land O'Lakes QB Stevie Weatherford, a former USF commitment, verbally committed to Cincinnati on Saturday. That ends a tumultuous two-month stretch during which he was suspended for the final two games of his prep career, decided to get away from the bay area and declined the USF offer. Weatherford, who graduated in December, is expected to sign Wednesday and enroll in March.

His Land O'Lakes teammate TE Kent Taylor picked up an offer from Florida State at the school's junior day in Tallahassee, said his prep coach, Matt Kitchie, who is now offensive coordinator at Hillsborough.

AS THE CROW FLIES: West Liberty All-America quarterback Amedro is graduating, but Murray said his possible replacement was joining him on his visit: former Countryside QB L.D. Crow, who signed with Stanford out of high school and was at UCF last season.

Crow, a three-star prospect, ended behind Andrew Luck at Stanford and Jeff Godfrey at UCF.

basketball: Ohio State is visiting Palm Harbor University 6-foot G Kristine Fuller on Tuesday. Fuller is averaging more than 20 points a game for the Hurricanes and had a game last week in which she was 18-for-18 from the free-throw line.

She also has received interest from Eckerd and Utah State.

"The biggest thing is, she's a 6-foot guard and can play either the point or shooting guard," PHU coach Darian Dublin said. "To have a girl that tall playing that position, you don't see that all the time. She can post up, she can face the basket, she rebounds and blocks shots and runs the floor very well."

John C. Cotey can be reached at (813) 406-0530 or

Tampa Bay recruiting notebook 01/29/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 29, 2011 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays vs. Blue Jays, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Blue Jays

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  2. Baseball team's eclipse watch during game draws fans from far away


    KEIZER, Ore. — They came from Hawaii, Rhode Island and Alaska, and as far as the Dominican Republic and Australia.

    Players for the minor-league baseball Salem-Keizer Volcanoes wear special eclipse jerseys Monday.
  3. Florida State sees plenty of upside in Dade City native Jacob Pugh


    TALLAHASSEE — No, Florida State senior Jacob Pugh is not as versatile as teammate Derwin James.

     Florida State Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (16) and Florida State Seminoles defensive end DeMarcus Walker (44) celebrate after sacking the Miami quarterback Saturday October 8, 2016 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
  4. 247Sports: Berkeley Prep's Nicholas Petit-Frere top OT in nation


    Berkeley Prep offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere already is widely considered the best player in Tampa Bay.

    Berkeley Prep rising senior defensive end Nicholas Petit-Frere (78) performs a pad drill during spring football practice at Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, May 12, 2017.
  5. Full disclosure: My AP Top 25 ballot


    Now that you've seen the preseason AP Top 25, here's what I submitted in my first year as a voter. The AP doesn't give us many guidelines in the preseason. I didn't try to predict how …