“It was a great visit,” Murphy said. “It was an in-depth tour and was different than just going there to watch my sister (former ASU basketball player Kayli Murphy) play there. I got to meet the players and see what it was really like there. I met the whole defensive line and they are a solid bunch of guys, and I would love to play with them. It’s a defense that never gives up and plays like a bunch of crazed dogs. Those are the kind of guys I want to be around, fighting for a national championship.
“I was really impressed with what the coaches preach there, really going after the blue collar, hardnosed kids who want to win a national championship. This is why they stand out above other colleges, because they are hungry. I also like how much the coaches talk about academics and life after football. Since Coach Graham has been there the team GPA rose from a 2.2 to a 2.8. That was really impressive.”
The 6-7 240-pound Connor Murphy spent quite a bit of time talking to defensive coordinator Keith Patterson and defensive ends coach Paul Randolph. The tandem talked to Murphy about what kind of role they envision for him in the ASU offense.
“I like Coach Randolph a lot and I talked to him many times before,” Murphy said. “He told me that he is going after players that have the same build as I do. He’s really pleased with what I can offer. They said that I could play defensive end or Devil backer. I’m pretty comfortable with either position as long as I can rush the quarterback. I just love the game of football and will play anywhere.
“The (ASU) coaches told me to not even worry about my weight right now because they know I’m still growing. By the time I get to college I’ll be at 280 and I could be 6-8 at that time.”
Murphy added that head coach Todd Graham’s passion and talking points really resonated with him when the two conversed, and elevated the defensive lineman’s excitement level about the program that much more.
“He’s trying to rebuild the program,” Murphy stated, “and do something that was never done before here and that is win a national a championship. He wants players on his team that want the national championship as bad he does. That really sold me on the program – how bad he wanted that national championship.
“It’s great that a team in my back yard offered me and it’s a great team that’s a short drive from home. I’m just getting goose bumps thinking about when they offered me. It’s an unbelievable program and I believe that if I went there I can really reach my full potential. That is what I’m really looking forward to.”
Connor’s older brother, Trent Murphy, was a standout linebacker at Stanford and that has been the only other college that the defensive lineman has been showing interest in to date. Yet, the Cardinal have yet to offer and that coupled with the fact that the younger Murphy played in just the first three games last year due to a fractured elbow, has limited his exposure to other suitors.
“I’m fully recovered now,” Murphy commented, “and am looking forward to this season to make up for what I could have done last year. I’ll just keep on fighting this year and hopefully get that championship. I’m not taking anymore (unofficial) visits so I can get ready for my junior season.
“I’m going to see how many more offers I can reel in, and just like my brother and sister I think I may end up in the Pac-12. But I’m still going to look at schools away from home too. I’m looking for a school like ASU is, preaching about blue collar players who want to work as hard as I want to work, and get those rings as bad as I want to get them. I just want to go to place where I can really fit in with all the guys on the team.”