Finding a pure spread-busting linebacker in the 2017 class is now a priority for the Texas Longhorns with the Wednesday offer to one of the hottest recruits in the state, Fort Bend Elkins product Kenneth Murray:
To this point, the 'Horns have mostly offered bigger linebackers like Baron Browning and Anthony Hines, with Westlake's Levi Jones the only other true smaller linebacker currently with an offer from head coach Charlie Strong and his staff.
At 6'2, 210 pounds, there's some talk that Murray could play safety at the next level, but he's much like 2015 signee Cameron Townsend in that while he's on the small side now, he'll eventually gain the weight necessary to play at the second level, but should be able to maintain his coverage ability.
And there are plenty of schools that see the potential in Murray, as his stock has taken off during the spring evaluation period. Recent offers include Mississippi State, Utah, Texas A&M, California, Oregon State, Oklahoma, Illinois, Baylor, and Michigan, with all of those coming in the month of May.
Murray is also quite familiar with Texas already, having camped in Austin last summer, visited for the Thanksgiving game against Texas Tech, and attended the Junior Day in late February. He's also thought to be high on the Longhorns, as a 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction came in for the 'Horns in the immediate aftermath of his offer:
A consensus three-star prospect, Murray is ranked as the No. 848 player overall, the No. 58 outside linebacker, and the No. 113 player in Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. However, his offer list suggests that Murray is in line for a boost into the near four-star range when the next round of updates happen.
At the Houston The Opening Regional camp, Murray had a good showing in athletic testing, running a 4.68 40-yard dash, a 4.34 shuttle, and posting a 34.6-inch vertical leap, in addition to excelling in one-on-one drills, where he showed off his willingness to compete.