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Middleton standout settles on Alabama

By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
Published June 15, 2006

TAMPA - Middleton defensive back Sherod Murdock, expected to be among the county's top players this fall, has committed to Alabama. Murdock (6 feet, 175 pounds) chose the Crimson Tide over Florida, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and West Virginia after attending camp at the school last weekend.

"He was always geared toward Alabama, and he always liked it," said Jamesena Murdock, Sherod's mother. "When he was up there, he said, "Mama, this is the place for me. I like it. I like the people. I like the campus.' "

Murdock's older brother, O.J., was a receiver at Middleton and a prized recruit in 2005. He signed with South Carolina and will be a redshirt freshman this fall.

"We're ecstatic," Jamesena Murdock said. "We'll be going to both of their games."

Jefferson quarterback Stephen Garcia, a top-100 player for the class of 2007 according to numerous recruiting services, has been invited to the prestigious EA Sports Elite 11 camp for signal callers. ESPN is doing a year-long documentary with Garcia.

Armwood placekicker Darren deRochemont has received a scholarship offer from LSU, Hawks coach Sean Callahan said. deRochemont was a Times' all-county pick last year.

ESPNU picks up Armwood vs. Jefferson

Local and state fans are well aware of the success Armwood and Jefferson have had in recent years. But now, the teams - and their rivalry - are about get some national exposure.

Thanks to ESPNU.

The network plans to broadcast the Sept. 15 Armwood-Jefferson game live from Seffner, the coaches at both programs confirmed Wednesday

"We love the thought that we're going to be exposed nationally," Armwood coach Sean Callahan said. "They wanted us and they wanted (highly regarded Jefferson quarterback) Stephen Garcia, and they got both. It worked out well and we're really excited about it."

Armwood won Class 4A titles in 2003 and '04 and was the state runnerup last season. During the past eight seasons, Jefferson went 75-28 with state final appearances in 2002 and 2004.

"It's a pretty big thing," Dragons coach Mike Fenton said. "I think it's great for both Jefferson and Armwood and it says a lot for Hillsborough County, the players and the programs this county is turning out. The competition here is probably as good as anywhere in the country and I think people are starting to take notice of that."

Efforts to reach ESPNU were unsuccessful.

[Last modified June 15, 2006, 01:30:12]


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