When it was time for Latavius Murray to select a college to advance his football career, his options were limited. Despite rushing for 33 touchdowns as a sophomore at Onondaga High School in Syracuse, New York, and earning all-state honors, the 6-3, 215 pound running back was targeted by only a handful of schools, none of which were known for their football prowess.
Syracuse, Boston College, UConn, Maryland and UCF recruited Murray, and Murray eventually chose UCF, where he flourished. As a senior, he rushed for 1,106 yards and 15 touchdowns. Yet when the NFL Draft rolled around, his ability was overlooked. He ran a 4.40 40-Yard Dash at his Pro Day, but according to critics, Murray didn't "play as fast as his 40 time." He wasn't drafted until the sixth round, when he was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 181st pick in 2012. More whispers about his lack of speed followed.
"A lot of people don't know how tall I am," Murray said. "Maybe I don't seem quick or I don't seem as fast because my legs are longer. But [once] you're out there on that field with me, then you'll realize I'm quicker than you think."
Last season, Murray was plenty fast, rushing for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns. Preparing for his fourth year in the league, Murray has focused much of his training this off-season on his lower body, his conditioning and his speed, ensuring he will be even faster and more durable in 2016. Those who have doubted him, as many have throughout his career, are in for a rude surprise. He's almost daring us to doubt him again.
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