NFL draft weekend is where dreams come true, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a fair amount of stress and anxiety that comes attached with it for those waiting for their name to be called.
I recently interviewed Murchison’s position coach at NC State, the legendary Kevin Patrick (who now coaches at FAU). You can get the lowdown on Murchison by reading that here.
Now for the perfect follow-up, an interview with Murchison himself. We discussed his draft weekend experience, his emotions when the Titans called his name, and how he built a relationship with several members of the Titans staff throughout the pre-draft process.
JM: Have you come down from the high yet? The excitement must have been exhilarating. Congratulations!
LM: To tell you the truth, no I haven’t (laughs). I don’t think I’ll ever come down. Thank you so much.
JM: What was the overall weekend like for you?
LM: It was a long weekend. From Thursday to Saturday, it was a nervous time for me. The nerves really started to kick in around the second day. We thought I had a chance to go there so that’s really when things started for me. You try to just take things round by round, but you don’t wanna drop too far down the board. At the end of the day, I’m blessed to have had my name called. I’m still feeling the excitement as we speak (laughs).
JM: As you should be. What was the moment like when your phone rang? I assume it was from a Nashville area code. Did you recognize the number?
LM: They actually called me from a Texas area code. I knew it was somebody though (laughs). I knew it had to be a team calling me. I didn’t know who it was for sure until I answered it, but I always kind of felt like it was going to be Tennessee. I knew their pick was coming up and I felt like we had built such a good relationship throughout the process.
JM: You knew it was an NFL team calling.
LM: I did, yeah. It’s difficult to put into words. It’s like watching your life-long dream come true right in front of your eyes. It didn’t even feel real to me.
JM: The wait can be brutal. You get to Day 3 and you’re on the fifth round at that point.
LM: It was starting to feel a little rough for me. After the fourth round, it just felt like things kept going and going. You’re just waiting and waiting and you don’t really know what’s going to happen. You start to wonder if you’re gonna get drafted at all. I kept my faith up.
JM: You mentioned that the Titans and yourself had some productive pre-draft meetings and you felt like a relationship had been established. In that fifth round, you knew they were coming up at No. 174. Did you start to have a good feeling that your wait could be coming to an end?
LM: Yeah, I had a very good feeling that they could be one as the fifth round was going on.
JM: How many times did you meet with them?
LM: I met with them via FaceTime a few times. Their general manager Mr. [Jon] Robinson was on a few of those calls with me. Coach [Mike] Vrabel was supposed to be on one of the calls but something came up. I also met with [defensive line] coach [Terrell] Williams a few times. It felt like the vibe was right.
JM: That’s great. What a ride it’s been. You played everywhere at NC State. You played some three-technique, they even asked you to play some four-technique which is something you hadn’t done before. Do you have a preference at the next level?
LM: I don’t really have a preference and we haven’t had a chance to discuss that yet. I’m not sure where they see me fitting in but I’m excited about it. Wherever they want me to play, that’s fine with me.
Previewing the draft on April 14, @JustinM_NFL said to @titansfilmroom he thought Larell Murchison was a top-100 player in the draft and a prospect the #Titans would be strongly considering ##NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/5JDuGYnyD4— Titans Brawl ™️ (@TitansBrawl) April 25, 2020
JM: You played against Mike Vrabel’s son Tyler, who’s an offensive tackle at Boston College. Did he give you a tough time?
LM: Yeah, we played against him. Nah, he didn’t give me a tough time (laughs). Not at all. They ran for a lot of yards on the ground as a whole but I wouldn’t say that I had any individual struggles personally. Turn the film on, you be the judge.
JM: That’s a terrific answer (laughs). You played some fullback in high school. Imagine you lining up in front of Derrick Henry near the goal-line. That would be terrifying.
LM: Man, I’m ready (laughs). I can’t wait to meet the rest of the guys and get to work. I just wanna get started.
JM: Coach Kevin Patrick told me about the struggle of getting you lined up correctly when you first arrived at NC State. It sounds like you guys got into it a little bit (laughs).
LM: That’s hilarious (laughs). Coach Patrick is an excellent D-line coach. I’m so thankful to have been coached by him. It was rough in the beginning. I had a great relationship with everybody there. It was different from JUCO. The D-I level is so much more advanced. I had to take the small steps to become a better player. I just took things one day at a time. I just kept getting better and better as the days went by. When it was time to step on the field, I was able to be productive.
Larrell Murchison Positives:— Mike Herndon (@MikeMiracles) April 25, 2020
+ Big time production from interior DL spot with 7 sacks and 12 TFLs last year
+ Great hands and a nasty spin move to win in tight spaces
+ Non-stop motor, always around the ball
+ Quick off the ball
JM: You mentioned that Titans defensive line coach Terrell Williams was on a few of those pre-draft FaceTime calls. When I spoke with coach Patrick, he said that one of the reasons he loves the fit for you in Tennessee is because coach Williams is such a good D-line coach.
LM: We haven’t had too many chances to speak just yet, but I can already see that I like coach Williams a lot. I can just tell, I‘m getting some great vibes from him. I’m ready to be coached.
JM: That attitude will be key to your success. In closing, what sort of goals and aspirations do you have for your rookie season?
LM: I just want to contribute anywhere I can. Anything I can do to help the team win, I’m all about that. I’m going to make sure that I‘m a great teammate.