Getting to Know Latavius Murray

Q: You only had one fumble out of 453 carries in college, 407 before your first one…What's your key to ball security?

Murray:"For me I guess keeping it high and tight and just knowing always that ball security is the most important thing. So, when you get in traffic, just covering it up. Even if it sacrifices taking a risk for a big play, just make sure you go down or secure the ball first. I think that's the most important thing, for that next play, making sure it's an offensive play."

Q: Have you changed anything about your technique since getting to the NFL?

Murray:"No, I run the same way as far as ball security is concerned. You can always be better at little things as far as running the ball or any moves like that, but protecting the ball has been the same thing, especially since it was something that I was good at. I definitely don't want to change it now."

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Q: So you didn't return kickoffs in college, but are now returning them in the NFL. What were your initial thoughts and what does it take to be successful?**

Murray:"Well, my initial thoughts were it's another way I can get the ball in my hands, so I was definitely excited about that. I think the key is making smart decisions when you're back there. When not to and when to bring it out. Then, if you do bring it out, just hitting it, going North and South and try not to make too many cuts or anything like that because the gaps close fast. I think just hitting what you see and running and getting as much yards as possible, as quick as possible."

Q: After having a knee injury at UCF and considering leaving, how did that help you get through last season when you were out with a foot injury?

Murray:"It was my freshman year when I had my ACL surgery or injury. So, I think for the most part, I had to grow up. I was really homesick and I wanted to leave. I was maturing and that was my first thought then, back in college. I think when I got to this point here in the NFL, I definitely knew what to expect for it. I knew that there are some bad days, I know that there are some good days. I knew as long as I did my part as far as rehab wise and believing the doctors and the trainers that things will get better. It definitely helped me out this time around, having gone through an injury like that back in college."

Q: What is your relationship like with Tyvon Branch since you are both from the same hometown?

Murray:"Well, Tyvon, man he's been a great friend of mine. He was a good friend of mine even back when I was in college, and even before. When I was coming out of high school and he was at Connecticut, he was my host at Connecticut. Obviously I didn't choose to go to Connecticut, but throughout my college career we went back and worked a camp together, his camp, and now I'm a part of it too, and my name is on it. So, we have a camp together back home and he's just been a tremendous friend to me, especially before the NFL and then once I got drafted here, the rest was history. It's pretty cool having a friend from back home on the same team."

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Q: When did you first start playing football?**

Murray: "I believe it was the third grade, so about eight or so. I played when I was in third grade, that's when I started. I think for me, I had seen the other kids, because I never played flag or anything like that, but I had seen a lot of other kids playing and coming in with their jerseys, that was a part of football. I think I had played it outside of organized, but I said, 'Man, I want to try that.' So, I just somehow asked my mom and told my mom I wanted to play football. I got signed up and the rest was history. Pop Warner."

Q: Have you always played running back?

Murray:"I have. There was a time in Pop Warner they tried to move me to center…that didn't work out so well, so I moved back to running back. Then obviously in high school I played running back and linebacker. But, at UCF, right after my injury, I was moved to H-Back, kind of like a fullback, for a little bit, but got moved back to tailback with some injuries and that worked out for me too."

Q: Being larger than most running backs, what advantages do you think your size brings to your game?

Murray:"Well, I guess I can be a more physical, more punishing back. As far as guys wanting to tackle me or trying to tackle me, it makes it a little bit harder. I guess that's definitely not easy, being big, to take down. Also, with my speed, out in the open I'm able to get away from guys too, so I definitely try to take advantage of both. In between tackles, just running hard, running physical, running downhill and out in the open, just using my speed to find the end zone."

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