ATLANTA — Myles Murphy is a special football player. Out of Powder Springs (Ga.) Hillgrove near Atlanta, Murphy checks in at 6’5 and 260 pounds. And yet, he says schools are recruiting him to play on the edge, be it as a JACK linebacker or defensive end.
Even if that projection is lofty for a recruit with a frame that can easily hold 285-plus pounds, it says something that schools are even pitching it to him as an idea.
And not just any schools. Big-time schools. Murphy named Clemson, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State, and Michigan as schools standing out to him Sunday, following an impressive performance at Nike’s The Opening regional camp in Atlanta, plus “a few more Southeastern schools.”
His ranking reflects his talent. Murphy is the No. 11 overall prospect in the nation, according to the 247Sports Composite.
One lucky school will be able to land his commitment come August. Murphy has plans to narrow things down later in the summer before making his decision.
“I have a notebook at home with all the pros and cone of each schooI,” he said. “Whichever school has the most pros, the one I feel the most home at, the best relationships with, is the one I am going to choose.”
Clemson and Auburn are two schools standing out to Murphy.
He said if he had to name two hats today to be at his Signing Day hat ceremony today, Clemson and Auburn are two he knows he’d be picking from — not that others can’t get involved.
His best relationship at Clemson is with defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall.
“That would be my position coach when— if I go there,” Murphy said. “He’s a down-to-earth man. It’s not talking football all the time. He asks about my family, how my dad’s doing, how my brother is doing off at college.”
Clemson’s success producing defensive linemen appeals to Murphy, as does its engineering program.
“Clemson at first was a military school, so they’re pretty big on structural engineering,” he said.
At Auburn, Murphy likes how he’d be used in the defense.
“At Auburn I’d be playing the Buck position, which is both outside linebacker and hand in the ground,” he said.
And he is a fan of those Tigers’ engineering school, too.
“Auburn is really good at all engineering,” he said. “Their biggest is mechanical engineering.”
Don’t forget in-state Georgia, of course. He has not been to UGA since the Auburn game in November 2018, but has plans to get back in early May.
He does want to see Georgia’s academic facility on his upcoming trip.
“I’ve seen all the football at pretty much every school,” he said. “When it comes to differentiate each school by their academics.”
Murphy insists that Georgia is not slipping, despite public perception to the contrary.
“They are keeping pace,” he said. “It’s on me. I just have to keep looking for what I want to see. And if I don’t see it, I’ll cross them off the list.”
Murphy would play a purer outside linebacker role in Georgia’s 3-4 defensive scheme, but he said he’d play a similar role anywhere.
Murphy said recruits from all of his top schools are hitting him up daily, and he’s a member of many of their school-specific group chats.
“I’ll tell them, ‘If I want to talk to you, I’ll call you,’ but I call them pretty equally, though,” he said.
Expect official visits first, then a commitment after.
While Murphy is likely to get back to most of his top schools unofficially, he knows he’ll be taking official visits before he commits.
“I only have one class I am taking over the summer, so I’ll have free range over where I want to go, he said. “I want to take my officials first, because I am not big on decommits. When you commit, it’s almost like a marriage, you don’t [look around.]”
I switched my pick from Georgia to Clemson after the conversation with Murphy.
The academics are a fit, and he’s high on the culture. And importantly, knowing that Murphy has a strong preference for playing outside, from a projection standpoint, it is easier to see him playing defensive end than JACK linebacker if he continues to fill out with good weight. I suspect he will.