Middleton's Murdock switches from 'Bama to Pitt

Sherod Murdock said on Wednesday that his oral commitment to Pittsburgh is firm.

Published January 25, 2007

TAMPA - Middleton defensive back Sherod Murdock said on Wednesday that his oral commitment to Pittsburgh is firm, following months of speculation as to whether he would go to Alabama.

"I heard almost nothing from Alabama since (Nick Saban was hired to replace Mike Shula three weeks ago)," Murdock said. "I visited Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and thought it was great there. Pittsburgh made me feel wanted. I thought (Pittsburgh) coach Dave Wannstedt was great."

Murdock orally committed to Alabama over the summer but wavered when Shula was fired at the end of the season.

Pittsburgh's chances also improved, Murdock said, because the Panthers' new secondary coach, Chris Ball, worked the past four seasons at Alabama and spent time recruiting Murdock.

"Everything seemed to come together at Pittsburgh," Murdock said. "I was disappointed with the way everything happened at Alabama, but I understand that this is a business.

"So (Alabama) took care of their business, and I took care of mine."

PLANT LINEMAN TO AIR FORCE: Plant offensive lineman Alex Townsend orally committed to the Air Force Academy, ending years of hope he would end up in the armed services.

"I've always been interested in the military option," Townsend said. "I don't know why, exactly. Maybe I've watched too many military spy movies or something."

Townsend said he fell in love with the academy when he took an unofficial visit to the "gorgeous" Colorado Springs campus in November. Townsend said he hopes to eventually fly Air Force jets.