Sophomore defensive back Najee Murray, a former 3-star prospect who was part of Urban Meyer's first recruiting class in Columbus, has been granted his release from the Ohio State football program. Kyle Rowland of ElevenWarriors.com broke the news Thursday night.
Six MAC schools—Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Kent State, Miami and Ohio—offered Murray a spot during his recruitment, but the Steubenville, Ohio, product couldn't turn down a chance to play for the Buckeyes.
Murray played in six games in his only season at Ohio State, mainly on special teams, but he did see action at cornerback in Ohio State's season-opening victory against Miami. Murray registered three solo tackles before tearing his ACL in practice leading up to Ohio State's Week 7 matchup with Indiana.
Murray's release was a mutual decision, according to Rowland's report.
Ohio State has suffered significant attrition this offseason.
Conner Crowell, a sophomore linebacker, decided to give up football in January after an injury-plagued career. That same month, the Buckeyes lost offensive lineman Joey O'Connor, who requested a transfer.
The hits kept coming for the Buckeyes when it was announced last week that the careers of Adam Griffin and Jaime Wood, both defensive backs, were likely over due to shoulder injuries.
With Murray gone, Ohio State's depth in the defensive backfield will be tested. The coaching staff will call on an array of freshmen, such as 4-star cornerbacks Cameron Burrows, Eli Apple and Gareon Conley, in addition to 5-star safety Vonn Bell, to bolster the Buckeyes' backfield.
All recruit rankings per 247Sports.com.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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