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Hawks RB trims potentials to 5

The recruitment of Armwood standout Demetrius McCray is heating up.

McCray, whom rates as the nation's 35th-best running back prospect, has narrowed his choices to Akron, Indiana, New Mexico, Rutgers and South Florida.

"All five have a shot," McCray said.

For some time it appeared Akron and Rutgers were the clear frontrunners, in part because McCray is giving serious thought to playing out of state. But in recent weeks, his other favorites made a significant push.

Especially USF.

"(The Bulls) have shown the most interest," McCray said. "I'm taking more of a look at USF now. I like the coaching staff and they're going into the Big East and playing a lot more competition. That's what's really helped them out."

McCray is a two-time Times All-Suncoast pick. He helped lead the Hawks to consecutive Class 4A titles and rushed for more than 1,500 yards each season.

STEVE VS. URBAN: O.J. Murdock, Middleton's standout receiver, said he's down to Florida, South Carolina and Tennessee. That has changed significantly from last month as Miami and Florida State have pretty much been eliminated. Two major developments helped shape Murdock's thought process: the hirings of Urban Meyer (UF) and Steve Spurrier (South Carolina).

In the days after Florida fired Ron Zook as coach, Murdock, one of the country's fastest players, had all but dropped the Gators from consideration. But Meyer visited Murdock a few weeks ago and made a strong impression.

"I've met him and some of the new faces, and I think it's going to be a better team family-wise," Murdock said. "There's something about Coach Meyer that's different than Zook. I liked him, too, but I really like the offense Coach Meyer runs."

Spurrier was at the Murdock house Monday night for about 90 minutes. The two had previously only talked by phone.

"It was fantastic," Murdock said. "It was exciting to be in the same room with him. It was a very fun night."

Rivals has Murdock ranked sixth in the country at his position. He will visit the Gators this weekend and the Gamecocks the next. No date has been set for a possible Tennessee trip.

"It's been real hectic," he said. "I'm trying to go in with an open mind. I have a different favorite day in and day out."

QB OR NOT QB: Armwood quarterback Jameel Williams, a two-time 4A championship game MVP, is looking at Bethune-Cookman, The Citadel and Georgia Southern. Williams hasn't named a leader, but Georgia Southern might have an edge. That's because the Eagles run an option offense similar to that of Armwood.

"It's the same thing I've done for four years," Williams said.

The Citadel is recruiting him as an athlete. Bethune-Cookman said Williams could play quarterback, running back or receiver.

A NEW STANDARD: The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced that athletes who brawl with fans will be suspended one year and the student's school will be placed on probation pending the outcome of a state investigation. That means the school could lose playoff profits or face a playoff ban if another violation occurs.