Kirby Smart was expected to be in the charming North Carolina town of Louisburg at 3 p.m. today.
Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has already been there. He jumped on that trail last weekend. That’s when the Bulldogs first got in touch with 3-star junior college DT Larrell Murchison.
“Big Murch” is committed to Ole Miss. He visited Texas last week and is set to take an official visit to Georgia this weekend where he hopes to pick up an offer.
But Smart came to see him today. If that sounds serious, well that’s because it should.
“Being from North Carolina, Georgia is one of the main schools you look at,” he said. “Georgia is in the Southeastern Conference. Knowing what you could do with a degree from that university from an educational standpoint is something I wanted to check out.”
The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder sounds like an Aubrey Solomon insurance plan at the outset of learning about his story.
He told DawgNation that Georgia defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has made him a sudden priority. A Georgia quality control coach followed him on Twitter last Thursday. Rocker followed him over the weekend on Saturday.
Rocker followed him over the weekend on Saturday. Murchison got a message from him later that day.
“(Coach Rocker) tells me he likes my ball get-off, my size, my speed, my ability to rush the passer and to contain the edge,” Murchison said.
Rocker was honest about the timing.
“Coach Rocker told me just straight-up he was interested,” Murchison said. “He said he was sorry they got to me so late but let’s try to see if we can make this thing work. He told me to talk to my people and let him know where I would stand with taking an official visit to Georgia.”
That’s why he’ll be in Athens this weekend. But there’s more to the young man than a Plan B at defensive tackle.
He wants to major in Communications at his next stop. His mother happens to run Glenda’s Just Desserts and Lunch Counter. That spot is a go-to for soul food in his native Elizabethtown.
“Big Murch” is rated as the nation’s No. 8 strong-side junior college defensive end and the No. 87 overall JUCO player for 2017.
Murchison also stands to be the first big-time SEC or Power 5 signee in the short history of Louisburg College. That program isn’t old enough to drive, but he’s about to make history.
Hurricanes defensive coordinator Chris Tolbert said Murchison is the type of player the school would be proud to put on their media guide.
The 3-star DT plans to take his likely last official visit to Ole Miss next weekend.
How would he describe the strength of his commitment to that school?
“The strength of my commitment to Ole Miss is still pretty heavy,” he said. “I definitely have a great relationship with coach (Hugh) Freeze and coach (Tray) Scott. That commitment is very strong but I want to go into all of my visits with an open mind and find out stuff that I don’t know about them. Georgia is a good example. Georgia is only like five hours away from my house. That would definitely be a great fit growing up watching them and already knowing what they are all about.”
He said facilities won’t matter that much. School location sounds like it will be a factor but it won’t swing his decision.
He’ll look at the type of degree offered and his relationship with the future coaches.
So what happens if he gets a UGA offer?
“It would definitely be up there in that Top 2 or Top 3 category for me,” Murchison said. “I look to enjoy my visit and look for everything that I want in a school there. If I find that at Georgia, then maybe I can end up in Athens next year.”
Look for him to make his final decision shortly after that Ole Miss visit.
He will have three seasons to play two years at Georgia, Ole Miss or Texas.
“Big Murch” brought up several examples of Bulldogs from the Tar Heel State. He brought up former RBs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
Murchison said he had the grade-point average to qualify for a NCAA Division I scholarship coming out of high school but he never managed that requisite SAT score on the sliding scale.
He signed with Winston-Salem State University out of high school but never managed that score. That led him to Louisburg State. That junior college program sits just the to the east of Raleigh as the crow flies.
Tolbert shared a clear view of what “Big Murch” is like off the field.
“Larrell is a unique guy,” Tolbert said. “He was one of our team captains by an overwhelming vote. We had him and his twin brother (Pharrell Murchison) over to dinner here one time. His brother also plays here as a running back. They stopped at a gas station on the way and bought my son a little Mickey Mouse doll. They didn’t have to do that, but that story stays with me and sticks with my wife, too. He’s always thinking about others. That has always impressed me with him. That’s one of the many things that impress me about him.”