In addition to throwing defensive lineman around, incoming freshman tackle Justin Murray of Sycamore High School has a couple of other talents.
The current Aviator senior is an Ohio state Division I contender in the shot put and the discus, where he currently leads the Greater Miami Conference. Beyond that, he leads the city in the shot and is second in the disc.
Last year, he finished sixth at the state meet in Columbus in the shot put with a throw of over 52'. This season, he's chucked the 12-pound ball of steel 57'11.5" and hurled the discus 163'11".
While there are other worthy throwers in the GMC, it's pretty much Justin and all of the rest.
Clearly, shot put is his best event, but he'd liked to improve his discus distance for a chance at double honors at the state meet.
"Last year in the disc I made it to regional," Murray said. "I didn't do too well. I fouled out on the last two throws."
At 6-5 and 255 pounds, Murray has more sheer strength than most, but insists it's not all about the bulk.
"You have to have a lot of
technique," Murray said. "People usually think it's a lot about strength, but
it's really not. Strength is only about half of it. At the front of the ring,
it's all about your legs and having the torque. You get your legs down and use
them to push off of."
Because of track, Murray wasn't able to see much of UC's spring football action. When you're one of the leading scorers on a top-ranked team, the coach is hesitant to give you a meet off.
"I was actually at a track meet on the Saturday of the spring game," Murray said. "I was up in Mansfield, about three hours away, so I couldn't get to that."
He will be joining the Bearcats soon. The state track meet is June 3-4. If everything works out, Murray will switch his high school green and gold to UC red and black two weeks later.
"I report the 18th of June," Murray said. "I think I'll be doing everything with the football team and I'm going to be taking two classes as well. I'm looking forward to it."
While he wouldn't rule out a chance to throw shot and discus in college, his focus will be on football and adding the strength and pounds necessary to create holes in the Big East.
"I need to get bigger," Murray said. "Once I do that, I'll be alright."
In the meantime, Murray continues to leave some serious divots at local high school throwing pits with his mighty heaves.