Ole Miss 50, Georgia 50.
That’s where the Rebels and Bulldogs sit as 3-star junior college DT Larrell Murchison is set to make his college decision tonight. He will tell the coaches shortly thereafter, but his public decision will still be on National Signing Day.
Does he have a gut feeling yet?
The 6-foot-4, 285-pounder let out a looooong pitchy exhale when he heard that query.
“Oooooh Wheeeew,” Murchison said. “Not really. Not at the moment. It is probably 50-50. I really don’t know.”
Murchison relayed that information to DawgNation this afternoon. He will travel to the home of one of his coaches at Louisburg College in North Carolina, enjoy a great meal and make that college decision. It will be a rather historic night for the relatively young junior college program.
Murchison is set to become the first SEC signee in Louisburg College football history. He’s also set to go about picking that school in a pretty straightforward manner.
“We are going to finalize it up and talk about some things,” Murchison said. “We are going to break it down with the pros and cons on a piece of paper and see which school is the best fit.”
Here said one very big thing in that discussion which will catch the eyes of DawgNation and its readers. It was a message from head Coach Kirby Smart that clearly stated his worth.
“He let me know all about that,” Murchison said. “He told me about that when he said ‘You are the only 280-pounder we have got on the board. We have got a lot of 300-plus pounders’ and he said ‘We need you’ and said ‘I’m saving one for you’ and he said ‘No matter how tight things get with our numbers you have got it’ in regard to this class.”
That meant a great deal to Murchison.
“It was very important to me,” Murchison said. “It just seems like I am a priority. Especially coming up on one of the Top 5 recruiting classes in the nation.”
But his official visit to Ole Miss last weekend also meant a lot, too. He’s only been committed to the Rebels for about three-plus weeks. It was his first trip to check out the program.
“Going out there really confirmed some stuff,” he said. “I definitely have a great relationship with coach (Hugh) Freeze and coach (Tray) Scott. But I also have a great relationship with coach Smart and coach (Tracy) Rocker at Georgia right now. That’s why it is 50-50 right now.”
Larrell Murchison couldn’t come up with a “con” in terms of the chance to play at UGA. (Larrell Murchison / Special)
The thought of potential NCAA violations is also a cloud that hangs over his decision to stick with Ole Miss, too. He asked Freeze about that last weekend and was satisfied with that reply.
“Since 2012, the NCAA hasn’t really made an example of any team since that situation at Ohio State,” Murchison said. “Then after that, you know you have five other teams in the SEC that are under an investigation but Ole Miss is the only one that is public.”
Let’s be clear here. Those are Murchison’s statements that he shared with what he learned about potential NCAA sanctions from Freeze.
“From my understanding, I feel like nothing is really going to happen there,” Murchison said. “If so and it is something so diabolical they offer me the chance to be released from my scholarship but I don’t see that happening.”
He said that he believes from those conversations with Freeze that “bowl games would be the worst” that could happen. That would mean a postseason ban at Ole Miss.
“He was just telling me that is not how you make your decision,” Murchison said. “That’s basing it off a bowl game. He said losing a bowl game won’t stop you from being developed or stop your chance to get into the (NFL) by making the league.”
The natural question popped up: But why risk it? A postseason ban might halt a potential playoff run.
“Right,” Murchison said. “That’s the thing that had me thinking, too.”
Recruiting updates come fast and furious these days so we thought we might mix things up a little bit with an alternative story format.
We’ll use Murchison’s own words to break down where he stands as he’s set to chop up that decision and make the call and inform both those coaching staffs about it tonight or on Tuesday morning.
He said he couldn’t determine which official visit went better. That’s why we’re going to collect everything he said during the interview with DawgNation and break it down as he sees things.
Murchison’s take on Ole Miss
- “The official visit confirmed the great relationship that I thought I had with the coaches at Ole Miss,” he said. “Those talks I had with those coaches confirmed all the good things I felt about Ole Miss when I committed to them.”
- “I loved everything about Ole Miss,” he said. “I definitely saw myself being there.”
- “The atmosphere is great at Ole Miss,” he said. “The way that depth chart sets up. You’ve got some hungry guys ready to go in and win coming off a bad season last year. They are ready to go get it. They are on that other side of the SEC where you are playing dogs every weekend. You know that is a battle. That is definitely the biggest ‘pro’ for Oxford and also the developmental part about how they will develop me for the next level.”
- “The sanctions,” he said.
Factors that help Ole Miss versus Georgia:
- “I would be a top guy coming in at Ole Miss,” he said.
- “The depth chart wise is better at Ole Miss,” he said. “The chance at Oxford is better there. … I can come in and just get a lot of time. I will put it like that.”
Of note: He said that the potential sanctions for Ole Miss wouldn’t make or break his tie. He said it wouldn’t even likely break a tie. “Nah,” he said. “I wouldn’t make a decision like on that bowl game thing. I would just look at it deeper and have that conversation with my coaches about where I would best fit in.”
Murchison’s take on UGA
Pros: “Georgia holds a Top 5 recruiting class,” he said.
“Georgia by far had an awesome place and an awesome vibe on my official,” he said. “But I couldn’t put one official visit over the other. .. It was definitely awesome at both places.”
Larrell Murchison is rated as a 3-star junior college defensive tackle. (Larrell Murchison / Special)
“The biggest pros for Georgia is being five hours away from home compared to Ole Miss,” he said. “I’d also be one of only two 280-pound guys coming in and working with Coach Rocker and Coach Smart and being a part of a good defensive environment at Georgia.”
Cons: “Hmmm,” he said. “A con for Georgia would be they have a lot of guys coming back but that to me is not a con for Georgia because I’m the one (of only two guys in this class) coming in that weighs 280 pounds to play the defensive line. I really can’t find a con for Georgia. That’s the thing.”
Factors that help Georgia versus Ole Miss:
“I might be a top guy coming into Georgia as well too based on my height and weight for the position. That’s why things are so 50-50 for me right now with both.”
“I’d be one of only two guys at Georgia (the other being UGA commit Devonte Wyatt) that are coming in to play the line that will weigh around right at 280 pounds. They don’t have guys like me on the team.”
Location also plays a role. The road trip to Oxford is 10 hours from his North Carolina home. That commute to Georgia takes roughly five hours by comparison.
Murchison said his mother and father and twin brother went to Ole Miss. His twin brother is also being recruited by both schools. He’s a teammate and a running back at Louisburg College.
He said that both schools are looking into opportunities for him within their programs. It seemed like preferred walk-on options were being discussed. But he reiterated that he’s making the best decision for his future alone here. He can’t let his brother’s opportunity factor into the best fit for him at this stage of his career.
His twin brother did not join him on his official visit to Georgia.
“My family said whichever decision I go with then they are going to be with me all the way,” he said. “They just wanted me to make the smartest decision for me.”
Murchison said to look for his decision around 9 a.m. on National Signing Day.
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