One. Week. Left.
It’s unofficially Week 0 in the college football world, and that means there are actual games being played today. As far as the Oklahoma Sooners are concerned, the 2018 season starts in just seven days! For today’s Countdown to Kickoff special, I’m going to take a trip down memory lane and remember the hard-hitting Brandon Everage and the oh-so-smooth DeMarco Murray.
If you ever find yourself in a conversation with someone about which players were the hardest hitters in Oklahoma history, Brandon Everage’s name better come up. He completely leveled quarterbacks, wide receivers, running backs, and anybody else who even thought about touching the football.
The Granger, Texas native had his breakout season as a junior in 2002, when he recorded six interceptions and was named an All-American. Everage led the secondary with his voice and his play, solidifying his legacy as a favorite within the locker room and among the fans.
For his career, Everage recorded 10 interceptions, making him one of the program’s most prolific ball hawks. Following his senior season, he underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, rendering him unable to participate in the NFL Combine. A career in the National Football League never transpired from there.
Tragically, in May of 2011, Brandon Everage passed away after drowning in a Texas river. He was just 30 years old.
Four years after Everage played his final down with the Sooners, another player would don 7 and do it justice. DeMarco Murray, a redshirt freshman running back out of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, burst onto the scene and did all kinds of damage from out of the backfield.
Everybody knows that Oklahoma is a running back factory. More often than not, no matter the season, the number one option to tote the rock is a straight-up stud. From 2007 to 2010, DeMarco Murray was that dude. The talented back was rated as a five-star coming out of high school. His running style was smooth, and his vision was exemplary. He also had a nose for the end zone.
Many Oklahoma fans (myself included) are fully convinced that Oklahoma would have beaten Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators for the 2008 natty had Murray been healthy and available, but as the story goes, he was not, thus UF prevailed.
By the end of his college career, DeMarco Murray finished with 3,685 rushing yards, 1,571 receiving yards, 1,462 return yards and 65 total touchdowns. His 6,718 all-purpose yards are the most in program history, as are his 65 TDs. He was also named to the All-Big 12 First Team in 2008 and in 2010.
In the third round of the of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Murray with the 71st overall pick. In his fourth and final season with the Cowboys (‘14), he led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns, and was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year. By the time his tenure in Dallas had ended, he had claimed franchise records for single-game rushing yards (253, 2011 vs. St. Louis) and single-season rushing yards (1,845, 2014) He then signed with Philadelphia in 2015 before finishing out his career with the Tennessee Titans in ‘16-’17.
On July 13th, 2018, DeMarco Murray officially announced his retirement from football, but he hasn’t completely walked away from the game. Starting this season, you can expect to see Murray as a college football analyst on FOX. He makes his booth debut on Friday, August 31 at 8 p.m. CT for the game between Stanford and San Diego State.
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