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The better running back — Kendall Hunter or DeMarco Murray?

Debate will likely continue at next week's scouting combine
BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, Published: February 16, 2011

Kendall Hunter or DeMarco Murray, who's the better running back?

The debate has raged among fans in this state for the last four years. At next week's scouting combine, the same debate will carry on among NFL scouts.

“It's a great question,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay told The Oklahoman on Wednesday. “I've gone back and forth.

“They're both very talented backs.”

Since 2007, the careers of Hunter and Murray have rolled along side-by-side. Both received Freshman All-American consideration after each ran for more than 690 yards and averaged at least 6.0 yards per carry.

Hunter left Oklahoma State as arguably the most prolific back to pass through Stillwater not named Thurman or Barry. Murray exited Oklahoma with the school's career touchdown and all-purpose yardage records.

Neither player has much chance of going in the first round. But either could “come off the board in that late-second-to-early third-round range,” McShay said.

But who will be drafted first?

Going into the combine, McShay gives the slight edge to Hunter

“I did a lot of running back tape last week and went back and just watched both of these players, and I wound up giving Kendall Hunter a slightly higher grade,” McShay said. “I think Hunter is probably more underrated, one of the more underrated backs in this year's class.”

Last season, Hunter rushed for 1,548 yards and 16 touchdowns and earned first-team All-American honors as OSU won 11 games for the first time in school history.

At 5-foot-8, 200 pounds, Hunter is not big, but is ultra quick and, as McShay points out, runs through tackles like a bigger-sized back.

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