03/24/11 — Murdock to Livingstone

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Murdock to Livingstone

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 24, 2011 1:47 PM

Craig Murdock just doesn't want to move to Florida. Sure, he'll miss his mom and her good, rib-sticking home cooking.

But he can't pass up the chance to what he does best and fulfill one of his dreams -- play college football. The Charles B. Aycock senior signed a national letter-of-intent to suit up for Livingstone College next fall.

"(We) would be moving this summer, but my mom's not sure yet," said Murdock. "All of my family is in Charlotte, so I'll be close to them. That's one of the reasons I chose Livingstone."

UNC Pembroke courted Murdock, who is the most-versatile player to graduate from Aycock during Randy Pinkowski's tenure as head coach. Murdock played offense, defense and special teams this past season.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder accounted for more than 800 yards and eight touchdowns offensively. He logged 44 tackles and recovered two fumbles on defense.

Murdock shined on special teams. He averaged nearly 36 yards a punt and pinned the opponent inside its 20-yard line on seven occasions.

"Craig is just a versatile player and is such a good athlete who can do anything, so he's a 'no-lose' scenario in that sense," said Pinkowski. "(Livingstone) Coach (Elvin) James and I talked long and hard about it. Coach James said he'll bring him in with the anticipation of handling kicking duties, and whatever else he wants to do, they'll work him into the process.

"We're excited for Craig. I know he will go up there and do well. He's worked hard for four years and getting the payoff now."

Livingstone finished 0-11 overall, including 0-7 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association play.

Murdock will join former Aycock teammates Tyheim Pitt, Greg Johnson and Deven Sanders. Sanders actually helped in Murdock's recruiting, convincing the speedster to not overlook the small school in Salisbury.

"Deven said it's a real good school," grinned Murdock. "The classes are not too big, so you get more studying time with the teachers. Playing for Coach James will be real good because he'll push me to get better and that's what I need."

Murdock plans to earn a degree in the sports field.

Before then, he'll play one final game for Pinkowski in mid-July in Greensboro. Murdock has been selected to play in the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star football game.

"(East head coach) Paul Hoggard loved him and said we need your kid because he's so versatile," said Pinkowski.

Murdock is the first Golden Falcon selected for the East All-Star football squad since Dontay Taylor in 2007. He's the fifth pick during Pinkowski's era in Pikeville, and just the 13th athlete in school history to play in the summer All-Star showcase in either football or basketball.