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Larrell Murchison Becomes First Bladen NFL Draftee

ELIZABETHTOWN – Just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday the call came on Larrell Murchison’s cell phone. The Tennessee Titans were informing Larrell that he was about to be the first Bladen County football player to ever be drafted in the National Football League draft.

As soon as Larrell’s family realized this was the THE CALL, Milton and Glenda Murchison’s house (his parents) exploded in celebration (check out Shardajah Brown’s video on Larrell’s Facebook page). “I was really excited,” said Larrell.

It was a call that the Murchison family had been waiting for as Larrell’s draft stock had been steadily growing. Beginning with his performances at East Bladen High School, Louisburg College, and North Carolina State University then really taking off with Larrell’s performances at the Senior Bowl and then at the NFL Combine, he was a certain NFL draft pick.

Murchison was selected in the fifth round with the 174th overall pick.

Saturday afternoon Larrell was able to speak to Titan Coach Mike Vrabel and General Manager Jon Robinson who teamed up to lead Tennessee to the 2019 AFC Championship game. “They welcomed me to the team,” said Murchison.

According to the Titans website, Murchison stated, “I am very honored to be in Tennessee. I am just ready to work. Whatever they ask me to do, whatever Coach Vrabel asks me to do. I am ready to follow it and do what I am supposed to do.”

The Titans were sweating whether Murchison would still be available when they made their 5th round pick, but they really liked his versatility. Robinson stated on the website, “Vrabel and I talked Saturday morning, and Murchison’s the guy he had circled in his notebook and he was the last guy I looked at when I closed my computer Friday night to go to bed. We weathered 67 picks there with him and we were fortunate enough to get him.”

Larrell, left, and Farrell Murchison (Photos by Kenneth Armstrong)

Larrell and his twin brother Farrell were stars on Coach Robby Priest’s East Bladen teams that reached the 3rd round of the NCHSAA playoffs in 2 of their final 3 years. Larrell was a top-50 junior college recruit following his 2nd year at Louisburg College where he totaled 17.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

After a redshirt 2017 season at North Carolina State, Murchison earned the Wolfpack’s Defensive Lineman of the Year award in 2018 with 34 tackles, 8 for loss, 4 sacks and a leaping interception against Florida State. He also won the Alpha Wolf Rising Award which is given to State’s Most Improved Player.

This past season Murchison won second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors after leading the Wolfpack with 12 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks. He totaled 48 tackles and 2 pass breakups.

For his play at the Reese Senior Bowl, The Athletic listed Murchison as one of “14 prospects who made money in Mobile.” At the NFL Combine Larrell benched 225 pounds 29 times, broad jumped 9 feet, 10 inches, ran a 5.05 40-yard dash and measured 29 inches in the vertical jump.

Numerous analysts describe Murchison as a ‘high motor’ player. “My teammates and coaches are part of my family,” he said. “I play for them. So when you think of high motor I am playing for my guys and I am playing to win.”

Larrell continued, “When I think about how far I came down this journey from where I started to now being drafted by the Tennessee Titans, it means everything. It has been a long road but I always kept the faith along the way, and I am ready for whatever is next.”

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