Eric Murray had no scholarship offers coming out of Milwaukee’s Riverside University High School other than the one from Minnesota.
He wanted to play wide receiver, but Gophers defensive backs coach Jay Sawvel got hold of him and helped turn him into one of the best cornerbacks in the country.
Murray was a second-team All-Big Ten selection last year as a junior. He had only one interception last year, as quarterbacks tended to avoid him, but he had an interception, a forced fumble and eight tackles in Thursday’s opener against No. 2 TCU.
The Gophers have had six players drafted the past two years, including second-rounders Ra’Shede Hageman (2014 by Atlanta) and Maxx Williams (this year by Baltimore). For 2016, they hope to get at least five more players drafted, and Murray projects as their highest pick.
Mel Kiper listed Murray as the nation’s second-best senior cornerback in the country, behind Mississippi State’s Will Redmond.
“Eric’s extremely competitive,” Sawvel said. “He doesn’t fear anything. He prepares the right way. He works. He has a motor. He’s been extremely consistent. His future’s big.”