RB Murray hopes to lead No. 7 Sooners’ ground game

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He and safety Quinton Carter spent about three weeks home in Las Vegas doing MMA training at a friend’s gym. He left the 2 1/2-hour workouts feeling as tired as he had ever been, but at the end of it all his conditioning and stamina had improved.

“I didn’t do any running or anything,” Murray said. “That’s all I did was jump ropes and boxing and lift, and I came back in great shape.”

Back in Norman, he traded the octagon for something more serene. Strength coach Jerry Schmidt introduced him to pilates, and his first yoga class was Tuesday. Along with the stretches passed along to him from his NFL brethren, Murray said he can feel himself loosening up earlier.

“I’ll try anything to keep me flexible, to keep me on the field,” he said.

For Murray, that’s the bottom line because his main concern is staying fit for the long haul. Coaches have been allowing him to take more consecutive snaps in practice without substitution, although they’re still limiting his exposure to contact the same way they kept him out of spring scrimmages.

“The stronger he practices and the more he practices, the stronger he’s going to play. And I think he has that mindset,” Wilson said. “Hopefully, he’s going to have a great year _ a big number year.”

The trick is finding the right practice regimen to get Murray ready for 20 or more carries per game without putting him at risk. Just where that falls is just about impossible since, as Wilson points out, “you may get hurt crossing the street.”

“I think anything is possible but I’m not looking forward to breaking anybody’s records or anything like that. That’s not one of my goals to do,” Murray said. “Whatever I do whenever I’m out there, I’m going to play hard, as hard as I can, and just play like it’s my last down.”

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