The Vikings signed running back Latavius Murray early Thursday morning.
Here are five things to help you get to know Murray better:
• The Oakland Raiders drafted Murray in the sixth round, 181st overall, in the 2013 NFL draft out of Central Florida. The 27-year-old spent four seasons with the Raiders before hitting the free agent market this offseason.
• Murray, a New York native, was selected to the Pro Bowl in his second NFL season in 2015. He carried the ball 266 times for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 41 catches for 232 receiving yards. Murray has 21 career touchdowns (including one playoff TD) and 2,278 career rushing and 639 receiving yards. He totaled a career-high 12 rushing touchdowns last season.
• Ball security is an area of strength for Murray. He has seven career fumbles and only turned the ball over twice. Murray fumbled just once during this college career (453 carries) and rushed 407 times before losing the ball. He told Raiders.com his focus is keeping the football “high and tight and just knowing always that ball security is the most important thing.” By comparison, Peterson fumbled 39 times in 116 regular-season games for the Vikings and three times in four playoff games.
• Murray is larger than most running backs listed at 6-3, 230-pounds. He told Raiders.com “I can be a more physical, more punishing back. As far as guys wanting to tackle me or trying to tackle me, it makes it a little bit harder. I guess that’s definitely not easy, being big, to take down. Also, with my speed, out in the open I’m able to get away from guys too, so I definitely try to take advantage of both. In between tackles, just running hard, running physical, running downhill and out in the open, just using my speed to find the end zone.”
• His size has paid off near the end zone. Murray has 14 career touchdowns of five yards or less, making him a weapon around the goal line. He has remained healthy after a foot injury kept him sidelined his rookie season. He also missed his first season at Central Florida after suffering an ACL injury while playing basketball.
Bonus: Peterson and Murray once exchanged jerseys after a November 2015 game in Oakland.