Connor Murphy's brother, former Stanford Cardinal star Trent Murphy, a 2014 second round draft pick by the Washington Redskins, accompanied him on a second unofficial visit to ASU last week, and gave an endorsement of sorts.
"We toured all the coaches' offices and rest of the football part of the building, I talked to all the coaches," Connor Murphy said. "Basically they told me they are a real attack team and are looking for blue collar hard nosed guys just like myself. I got to sit in coach (Todd) Graham's office and talk face to face. He's just really trying to rebuild the whole program. He's a really tough guy, very determined. The thing I like about them overall is they're a pretty young group of guys and none of them has won a national championship yet and come across really hungry. That's one of the things I'm looking for in a college. But it was a great experience, a lot of fun.
"My brother decided between Stanford and ASU and told me the reason he didn't go to ASU was because they were older coaches and kind of bland and worn out and didn't have the same energy as these new young coaches do. My brother said he really loved these ASU coaches and felt like I could go to war with these guys and they have the things that I should be looking for as far as developing the mental toughness and the scheme and everything."
Like his brother, Connor is a big, long and versatile defensive athlete, at 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds. His future is probably playing as a down lineman or as a hybrid end and ASU is recruiting him in that fashion, as either a Devil backer or field-side defensive end.
"They say I'll more than likely play with my hand in the dirty but they are going to move me around and get me in position to be successful," Murphy said. "I've played a Devil backer type position in high school, we call it a dog. So I can be that or play end."
Though he's hugely in demand as a prospect, the Sun Devils have caught Murphy's attention due to improved play and results coupled with the defensive approach to football. Plus, he admits there's something to be said about being able to have his support network around him.
"They're right in my back yard, my older sister went there," Murphy said. "I've always kind of liked what ASU was about but just what I'm hearing from the coaches is a pretty good thing to hear. The things coach Graham said to me is first they're looking for a guy who has the smarts and if you have the smarts then he wants the toughness and if you have both of those he wants the discipline and mental discipline. He said I fit that mold exactly. He told me he wants me to be a leader in the 2016 class at ASU if I went there."
With 11 offers, Murphy has a lot of suitors including Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford and Vanderbilt. He's planning a visit to UCLA for spring break, Oregon and Oregon State in April, and Michigan, Stanford and Vanderbilt during the summer before considering a commitment.
"With ASU, all my friends tell me I could be a hometown hero," Murphy said. "That's kind of the big thing going around, the running joke. ASU is kind of my playground, right in my backyard. Of course it would be cool to see all my friends and talk to them all the time but I'm not sure yet."