After being suspended from the Ohio State football team earlier this month for what Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer called a “training camp issue,” sophomore defensive back Najee Murray has transferred to Kent State.
Murray practiced with his new Golden Flashes teammates for the first time Sunday and began classes on campus Monday.
A three-star prospect from Steubenville, Murray was originally recruited by several Mid-American Conference schools, including Kent State, but wound up instead as a part of Meyer’s first recruiting class. In fact, Flashes coach and former Buckeyes defensive assistant Paul Haynes made the in-home visit.
“Najee was going through the [recruiting] process at Ohio State when I was there,” Haynes said. “He knows me and I knew him, so [KSU] is kind of a good fit for him that way.
“I met his parents before and the funny thing is that my first college roommate knows his parents because they’re from the same hometown. So there are a lot of things working in our favor.”
Murray will have three years of eligibility remaining after he sits out the 2013 season due to NCAA transfer rules. As a freshman at Ohio State, Murray played in six games, mainly on special teams.
One in, one out
The Kent State basketball team lost a returning player but gained a new one recently when senior forward Bryson Pope left the team and new sophomore forward Jimmy Hall picked up the available scholarship.
Pope, who would have been academically ineligible for the first semester of the season anyway, is believed to be focusing his attention on playing professionally in France, where his father and older brother have both played.
Hall, a 6-foot-7 transfer from Hofstra, averaged 13 points and nine rebounds in seven games before being dismissed from school for his role in stealing iPads and iPhones on campus. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was originally charged with a felony, but had his charges reduced to a misdemeanor that includes completing community service.
“Our athletic department did a lot of homework and background checks on Jimmy,” KSU coach Rob Senderoff said. “And we felt he was deserving of a second opportunity, like the ones we’ve given to a handful of players [such as Antonio Gates and Tyree Evans] over the years. And that includes myself.”
Hall will sit out the 2013-14 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but he has started working out with the team.
Stephanie Storm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Kent State blog at http://www.ohio.com/flashes. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SStormABJ and on Facebook www.facebook.com/sports.abj.