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Pepin's Josh Murray enjoys minicamp experience

Former Pepin High School standout running back Josh Murray didn't get the call to remain a member of the Minnesota Vikings but participating in the rookie minicamp last weekend provided an immeasurable experience in his pursuit of playing in the NFL.

"You get the chance you've always dreamt of," Murray said. "You're playing with top draft picks. You're on the field with Matt Kalil and on the field with Harrison Smith and knowing you can compete with them. Everything about the experience was really fun."

The Vikings signed former UCLA Bruins running back Derrick Coleman prior to the minicamp and Murray said they told him the team's five running back spots were filled for the upcoming season. He did receive positive feedback on his performance though.

"The coaches said I had a good camp," Murray said. "I did the best I could."

Murray, a graduate of the University of Mary, in Bismarck, N.D., and former University of North Dakota running back, scored 16 touchdowns last season with the University of Mary.

Learning the playbook and spending the time with professional coaches was a little intimidating at first but it will help Murray in the future as he searches for a team, he said.

"It was a good learning experience," Murray said. "It was a little bit overwhelming at first to be in there with the coaches but I think it went well."

Murray said he will continue to train at Englebert Training Systems in Woodbury, headed by Ryan Englebert, a former University of Wisconsin-Stout running back.

Englebert signed a free-agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2007 but did not play in a game.

Now, it's just wait and see for Murray.

"I have my agent setting up things with the CFL (Canadian Football League)," Murray said. "I don't have any other camps on the schedule. If any come up I will. My agent is looking for opportunities for me. Right now, I don't really have any preferences ... Just trying to keep my body ready if that call does come through."

Chris Harrell
Chris Harrell is a sports reporter for the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Previously, he interned at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and The Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. For updates on local sports, follow Chris on Twitter at @RECHarrell.
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