Local DB’s Enjoying ASU’s Recruitment

Any discussion these days concerning Scottsdale Saguaro’s Football team naturally and rightfully centers on national phenom Christian Kirk. But this squad is hardly a one-man show. Childhood friends Byron Murphy and Kamron Johnson are poised to enhance the Sabercats’ prospects in 2014 that much more, and during ASU’s Elite Camp the duo gave those in attendance a small taste of their exploits.

2016 cornerback Byron Murphy has benefitted from the throng of scouts who have attended Saguaro’s spring practices pursuing Christian Kirk. Once schools such as Arizona State, Arizona, Ohio State, Texas A&M, UCLA and Wisconsin caught him in action they wasted little time offering him a scholarship.

Last Sunday at the Sun Devils’ event the 6-1 170-pound Murphy showed good quickness and ball hawking skills as one of the standouts of that day.

“I really liked the camp and how the coaches were telling us things that would help our game out,” Murphy said. “I learned a lot of things about my backpedalling, controlling my hips, being patient and reading the play and other stuff. Everything that they said was just perfect and really helped us out.

“Coaches wanted to see me play both ways, but I played better on defense. The coaches liked how I played physical and was quick, had good work ethic and listened to their coaching.”

Murphy said that the recruiting process and offers he has been getting, have been a surreal experience for him, especially for being such a young player.

“It’s exciting for sure,” Murphy admitted. “But I’m going to keep on working hard with my teammates to get better.”

Aside from the obvious proximity factor, Murphy stated that throughout the recruiting process with ASU there have been other factors that have been appealing to him.

“I talked to the players and I liked how they told me how hard they work,” Murphy described. “It’s great that they were out there helping us with the coaches, and I like how the coaches really explained everything they wanted us to do today (Sunday). Both the coaches and players came out here trying to make us better…I just like everything about the school.

“When I watch the defensive backs play last year, you could tell that they were being coached well because they were very patient. Coaches told me how much they talk to the players about doing the little things, and you could tell that the players were very smart.”

As exciting as the off-season has been thus far for Murphy, the corner is eagerly looking forward to teaming up with Johnson for the very first time on the high school level.

“We have been very tight since we were younger,” Murphy commented, “and we talk all the time about playing together in college.”

The 5-11 205-pound Kamron Johnson, who is transferring from Tempe High School shared those same sentiments.

“We’re very good friends and he has come a long way,” Johnson said of Murphy. “I can’t wait to play with him and I love being around him because he is such a funny guy. I would love to play with him in college too.”

Regarding ASU’s camp the safety remarked that he enjoyed competing against top talent from across the nation, which contributed to an overall great environment.

“The coaching staff was great,” Johnson stated. “Being there at ASU’s camp felt like being home. The players there were very welcoming and it was just a great experience. I took away a lot from that camp like doing a better job with reads and being more patient coming off the ball with our first step…just making sure we do those things right.

“The coaches said that they like me at strong safety rolling towards the box, playing their Spur back. That’s where they like me and if I got an offer that’s where they would probably have me at. I feel that I play well close to the line of scrimmage and I can cover a slot receiver well and jam them. I’m very physical and a good tackler, and that is what the coaches told me today. I need to work on my off-coverage and have better footwork.”

Since our interview Johnson did receive his first major conference offer, from Wisconsin, and prior to that had schools as UNLV and Wyoming extending offers.

Arizona and San Diego State have been showing interest, and the safety is hopeful for an Arizona State offer.

“What I love about ASU’s defense is that they are very physical,” Johnson said. “On top of their physicality, they are a very fast defense. They go up against fast paced offenses like UCLA and do well against them. A lot of people say that defense wins championships and I believe that. I love that defense.

“I love the campus and it’s very welcoming because they have great coaches and players. The education is great.”

Being that he will be in his first year of a highly visible program, Johnson is in no hurry to make a commitment at this juncture.

“I’m definitely going to make my time because I feel that I haven’t found yet what I have been looking for,” Johnson said hinting about his offers. “With the move to Saguaro I feel that I will come out this season with a bang. So I’m going to take my time and see what other offers I can get.

“I want to go a program where I will be surrounded by a great coaching staff and great players, and a program that has their mind set on winning. I’m looking for good education and if it’s easy for my family to get out there then that is a positive. I definitely want to go to a place where we can see each other easily.”


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