It doesn’t hurt that Cranford’s Colin Murray had a “bunch of large humans” blocking for him, but that doesn’t take away from his talent, strength and speed.
All of those things combined to earn Murray 2021 Central Jersey Sports Radio Offensive Player of the Year Honors.
Murray finished the season with 2,459 yards on the season, 334 of which came in the North 2 Group 3 Championship game against Sparta, which gave the Cougars their first state championship since 2015, and third in eleven years.
His 33 TDs this season ranked No. 2 in the state.
Not bad for a guy who hadn’t contributed at the varsity level until this year, thanks to a bunch of talented skill guys playing ahead of him.
Click below to listen to Mike Pavlichko of Central Jersey Sports Radio talk with Colin Murray about his – and Cranford’s – outstanding 2021 campaign:
Honorable mention candidates included Charlie Barth of New Providence and Marquis Perry of North Brunswick.
Barth was a runner-up in this category last year as well, eventually earning Two-Way Player of the Year honors. He had 2,025 rushing yards this season on 215 carries – second only to Murray in the Big Central – and finished his career with a whopping 586 runs for 5,303 yards, and 75 total touchdowns, only two of which came on defense.
Perry combined for 1,500-plus yards this season and 20 total touchdowns. He had 914 receiving yards on 53 catches, and for his career, rewrote the record books. Perry set a North Brunswick record for career receptions with 91, breaking a 21-year-old mark in the process. He also finishes his career No. 1 with 1,450 receiving yards, and ends fourth in all-time scoring with 186 career points.