Elkins grad talks being drafted by Chargers, family ties

Kenneth Murray was picked 23rd overall in last weekend’s draft

Houston-native Kenneth Murray talks about being drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL 2020 Draft. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – Kenneth Murray can’t wait to get to work in L.A. The Houston-native was drafted 23rd overall in the 2020 NFL draft, and work is something he’s used to.

“I’ve been training with the same trainer since I was 8 years old,” said Murray.

From that early of an age, it was clear Murray was special.

“It was really around the age of 11 or 12 is when we started coming up with the idea of me going first round. So it’s been a lot of training and a lot of sacrifice.”

When he was young, Murray’s parents adopted three children with special needs. He says becoming a part-time caregiver prepared him for life’s challenges.

“Being the oldest, my parents leaned on me a lot to help around the house. I think it’s taught me to be selfless, and that’s something I’ve taken from my household and been able to apply on the field,” explained Murray.

The linebacker said seeing his siblings become excited at his football games gave him a feeling few could understand.

“It’s what makes me who I am, and I think it’s taught me what it’s like to have true gratitude and what that truly means," said Murray.

Murray graduated from Elkins High school in Fort Bend County, and he wasn’t the only Elkins alum who was drafted. Defensive Tackle Ross Blacklock was drafted by their hometown team, the Houston Texans.

“That was really cool,” said Murray. “Obviously me and Ross played in high school together. He was actually a year older than me. Getting to see him go off to TCU and me getting a scholarship to Oklahoma, and then us both getting drafted at the same time is just something special.”

Murray can’t head to L.A. just yet due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but he says he’ll be studying the playbook online, and he’ll continue to do what he’s done since he was 8 years old — work.

“They’re (The Chargers) getting a passionate, fiery dude,” said Murray.

“I eat, sleep, and breathe football, so they’re getting a guy that cares about the game 24/7.”