Myles Murphy heard the question. Considered it. Then pounced on it. The responses mirrored the way his elite ball get off must be seen to be appreciated.
The answer was yes. The nation’s No. 11 overall prospect for 2020 has started to look at his recruiting process in a different light.
He is doing a lot of picking and choosing. In all areas of his day-to-day life.
“It has been a more mature approach to it,” he said. “There’s probably about 60 text messages per day. Not counting the messages on Instagram and Twitter. So I’ve been picking and choosing who I am responding to and what day I am going to respond to them.”
“Because if I respond they are going to quickly shoot back another text or question and carry on a conversation so that with schoolwork and just being a teenager in high school it is a pretty hectic schedule so I’ve been going with a more mature approach about it.”
His first trips were about football and the facilities. That was the first round. The second round of trips regarded where he would fit in their defensive schemes.
Those days are long gone. His priorities now focus on the schools which will enable him to be an engineer one day. Structural engineering is an early emphasis.
Some of that is just a general sense of getting his arms around a life-shaping decision. It might also be in terms of which schools now fit his future outlook and priorities the best.
It might mean that other schools like Clemson and Auburn are trending harder with him than the Bulldogs.
When asked Sunday at the Atlanta Opening to name which schools would definitely have a hat on the table when it comes time to make his college decision, he did not name the school his mother graduated from.
“The two hats that I know will be there it will be probably Auburn [and] Clemson,” he said. “But those aren’t the only two. Those are the two that I know will be up there.”
He said that and then backed off the throttle with that thought just a bit when asked what the Bulldogs might have to do to keep up with and catch those rivals programs.
“They are keeping pace,” Murphy said. “It is on me when it comes to that. I just have to keep looking for what I want to see and if I don’t see it, then I’d have to cross it off the list.”
What Myles Murphy said on Sunday about his decision
The scope of his post-camp thoughts on Sunday seemed to confirm the following: The rumors that the Bulldogs might be running second or third behind schools like Clemson and Auburn are not far-fetched.
They definitely don’t seem as far-fetched as the thought of that was halfway through last season.
Murphy hasn’t visited Georgia since the Auburn game last fall. He said that he doesn’t plan to return until early May. That was not definite. G-Day is a possibility, though.
He still likes the idea of committing on local television at a pep rally like he saw his Hillgrove High teammate Jaylen “Tank” McCollough do last year prior to the season opener.
What will be the most important factor in his college decision?
“The most important factor is definitely going to be how I feel at that school,” Murphy said. “So it is like if I don’t feel comfortable at that school no matter how good it looks or what good stuff they tell me if I don’t feel comfortable at that school then I will not be choosing that school.”
The schools that crack his top 10 or top 5 will be the ones that have made him feel comfortable on every visit so far. He plans to release that at an undetermined time in the future. It sounds like the summer, but he made no promises on a specific day.
Based on what he said on Sunday, here’s the hierarchy of what he’s looking for with this decision.
- The feeling he has at a school
- Where he fits into the scheme of their defense
With what he can do and the way he moves at 260 pounds, he’s going to add an instant problem to somebody’s playmaking ability off the edge.
The schools chasing Myles Murphy in 2020
Murphy fielded a lot of questions on Sunday. It was easily the most media (and maybe some of the only) he has done over the last few months.
In that time, he’s been to the “Junior Day” events at Clemson and Auburn. He was asked where Clemson stood in his recruiting in real time after the camp.
“They are definitely on top with a few schools that I am looking at so far,” he said.
The follow-up question asked him to name those other contenders right with Clemson.
“Well, to name some of them it would be probably Clemson, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State and probably some others in the Southeast.”
What else does he need to see at Georgia?
“Well for Georgia I’ve never been to their academic facility so that’s probably what I’m going to be on that next visit because I’ve seen all the football at pretty much every school,” he said. “I’m going to have to differentiate each school based on their academic facilities.”
When asked to name the schools which really drill down with what he’s looking for in terms of an academic fit, he had a very degree-specific reply. That one also did not include the Bulldogs.
“Clemson at first was a military school so they are pretty big on structural engineering,” Murphy said, who grew up an Alabama fan. “So is Auburn. Auburn is actually really good on engineering and on all facilities. Their biggest is mechanical engineering. Tennessee is also really good at engineering. I toured their engineering facility actually a few months ago. It was nice.”
Those reps between Tate Ratledge and Myles Murphy
DawgNation profiled Tate Ratledge earlier coming out of the Atlanta Opening. Those three reps between Ratledge and Murphy were the only ones where the big grizzly didn’t clearly take the win.
Tate Ratlidge and Myles Murphy with a great battle. pic.twitter.com/72KE2t2Ftc
— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) March 24, 2019
“I enjoyed that,” Ratledge said. “He’s fast.”
When he heard that pro agility time for Murphy (a range of 4.23-4.28 seconds), he wasn’t surprised.
“I was excited but really nervous at the same time,” Murphy said. “I could tell he was too because we were trying to calm each other’s nerves down by having some small talk before. We’re both pretty good friends obviously so it was just good competition. I won one, he won one and then I won one. We were very evenly matched.”
Here’s the thing with Murphy. Check this stance right here. He has great (I mean GREAT) feet and elite quickness. He does look like a tiger about to pounce right here.
That’s impressive. A lot of schools, including UGA, see those feet and envision him as a “Jack” outside linebacker in an odd front.
Those feet say yes. But that frame makes one shake their head. That’s not done at the college level. Guys that are already 260 pounds in high school do not wind up playing outside linebacker.
He does have that talent, but it is pretty much standard that players with the length he does go on to add 20-to-30 pounds of good weight at the college level through strength and conditioning and proper sports nutrition.
Murphy was even measured at 6 feet, 5 inches on Saturday. His legs will firm up and gain strength and definition in college. He’s going to be a very special OLB if that’s the case.
He had an interesting answer on Sunday in regard to his future position fit.
“I’ve actually been fluctuating my weight,” he said. “At the end of the season, I was 265 and probably like a month ago I was down to 250. Then two weeks ago I was 255 and now I am 260. So I’ve been up and down now, but once I do get into the weight room probably by the end of next season I will be just below 270 so but I always try to make my game and my physique after where I’ve been trying to get like Myles Garrett. He doesn’t look like a defensive end but he’s big enough to be one.”
Garrett, the former No. 1 overall pick from Texas A&M, lists at 6 feet, 4 inches and 272 pounds.
Myles Murphy goes in detail about Clemson
It is clear that he knows a lot about that school. His answers about Clemson history shows he’s been listening along those tours.
He likes the “fun” and “family” atmosphere around the Clemson program. Murphy said he likes to see the staff bring their families around the facility. He’s even noticed a few family pets around Dabo Swinney’s multi-million dollar complex.
He’s been down Dabo’s slide. A few times.
Perhaps his most striking answer was in how he articulated how the Clemson coaching staff helps shape the players in that program.
There’s an energy there that he has noticed.
“I get to talk to some of the players and some of the recruits that are there,” Murphy said. “Most of the time they come up there shy. But the coaches are full of energy so they make them come out of their shell. It is just their fun place to be.”
He said he will be at Clemson for another trip on the week of their spring game. The Tigers have their spring intrasquad on April 6.
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