Thibodaux High School has been a hotbed of football talent over the past couple of years and defensive back/return specialist Cartel Murray is another Tiger who is turning heads with his ability on the field. Last year, Murray averaged almost 30 yards per kick return (12-343, two TDs) and he also shined (45 tackles - 31 solo - three interceptions, and seven pass deflections) on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Murray (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) is looking forward to the possibility of receiving his first scholarship offer after spring training.
"Some of the schools have told me that I will get an offer after our game," Murray said. "I'm hearing from Louisiana Tech, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Louisiana-Monroe, Virginia, and California. The recruiters have told me to get more time on the field and to drop my 40 time in order to compensate for my lack of height.
"My favorite schools are probably Louisiana Tech, Virginia, and Nebraska. I went to Tech's spring game and I liked what they did on both offense and defense. I liked the tempo of things up there. I have family in Virginia and so it would be a fairly easy transition for me to go to school up there. With Nebraska, I like Bo Pelini and what's he's done there."
Murray, who says that he has recorded a personal best of 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, is gearing up for his first outdoor track meet after nursing a strained hamstring that he suffered at the state indoor meet a couple of months ago.
"I made it to the state indoor track meet in the 55 meter dash and the long jump," said Murray, "and then I got injured at the meet. I've been taking it easy and making sure things healed well for spring football practice. Our spring training starts May 1 and some of the college coaches are going to come watch and see how I do."
Last year, Murray spent time at both safety and corner (as well as returning kicks) for Thibodaux, which finished the year 8-5.
"I played mostly safety and corner last year," Murray said. "I'm going to be the starting corner this year and I'm also going to play on offense. The coaches want to get the ball in my hands because I'm the fastest player on the team. I'll probably get a lot of touches on screens at receiver and in the slot.
"We should be better than last year, because the coaches will be forced to use more athletes instead of just relying on (Auburn signee) Trovon (Reed). We should have more players step up this year."