In a time when the only players willing to commit to Ohio State are few and far between, Luke Fickell was able to land his first verbal pledge as head coach today shortly after he offered Steubenville DB Najee Murray a scholarship at OSU's Senior Camp.
Murray, who didn't take much time to jump on his coveted OSU offer, becomes the ninth member of the class of 2012 to give his word to come play for the Scalret and Gray. At 5-11/180, Murray can play corner or safety at the next level, but from looking at his film, it looks like he projects as a free safety at the next level. He also has the ability to return kicks, which is always a nice bonus.
His biggest asset is his speed which is "SEC level", and he also shows great ability to read and react to get to the ball. He had offers from many MAC schools, as well as Indiana before earning his OSU offer today after and MVP performance at the camp. Don't be fooled by his offer list though, as this is a kid, like Tyvis Powell, who was generating a lot of buzz over the last few months and would have earned some big time offers had he been on the market a bit longer.
This is a huge commitment for the Buckeyes, as it is Fickell's first as head coach and comes at a time when fans are seeing which prospects are true Buckeyes at heart through both good times and bad. Murray's willingness to jump on board during the rough times the program is currently going through shows that he knows what a privelige it is to don the Scarlet and Gray, an intangible many of the all-time Buckeye greats have used in their favor to have success during their careers in Columbus.
With about 11 spots remaining in the class of 2012, it will be interesting to see how things continue to unfold. There still likely won't be too much recruiting activity until after the NCAA hearing in August, but if Fickell can continue to sell players like Murray and Tyvis Powell on their desire to be Buckeyes regardless of what is going on, everything will turn out just fine for Ohio State.