Arizona duo show well to start The Opening

Arizona's Byron Murphy and Connor Murphy (no relation) represented themselves and the state well on the first day of action at The Opening.

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The one-on-ones battles Byron Murphy had with close friend N'Keal Harry last week were no doubt intense, but a lot different than the ones Murphy is facing at The Opening, which started Wednesday.

Murphy, a Scottsdale Saguaro athlete who often plays cornerback, and Harry, a Chandler wide receiver, have gone head to head plenty on the gridiron. But this time they were on a Caribbean cruise along with family members when their competitive nature came out.

"Me and N'Keal were racing the jet skis," Murphy said. "That was probably my favorite part."

One of two Arizona players at The Opening along with Brophy Prep defensive end Connor Murphy (no relation), Byron Murphy got down to more serious business on the Nike World Headquarters Campus. He didn't win all his one-on-one reps on the first day of action, but wasn't exposed in any way while working at cornerback against some of the nation's top wide receivers.

"Most schools say I'm an athlete but if I have to pick, it's wherever I can come in and play, but cornerback is where i'll make my money at the next level so I would say cornerback," said Murphy, when asked where he expects to play in college and beyond.

The No. 4 athlete in the West and NO. 123 overall prospect, Murphy certainly has plenty of suitors, and he's taken recruiting slowly to this point.

"I'm still really open," said Murphy, who measured 5-foot-10 and weighed 163 pounds. "I just want to take my time really, stay patient, because I haven't taken any visits. This summer's almost over because we have camp next week. I'm going to take more visits and get more familiar with the coaches and around the players. That's my main factor, get around the players and see if I fit in with them. I'm probably going to narrow it down the middle of my season."

An official visit to Texas A&M -- where close friend and former Saguaro teammate Christian Kirk is a freshman -- along with Harry will take place when the Aggies play Alabama on Oct. 17. Murphy said he has decided he will also visit Arizona State and Washington. The other two allowed visits are undetermined, with Arizona, UCLA, USC and Texas serious contenders.

"My hometown schools, ASU and UA, they're really up there because that's who I've been talking to the most and that's my biggest thing."

Other Murphy also represents well

A white hot summer camp season continued Wednesday on the nation's biggest stage for Connor Murphy, a 6-foot-7, 246 pound defensive end and the brother of former Stanford star and current Washington Redskins outside linebacker Trent Murphy.

After a stellar showing at The Opening regional at Eugene, Ore., earlier this summer, Murphy was invited to The Opening finals and proved it was well deserved on first day action.

Showing an impressive blend of skill and savvy, the sneaky-athletic Murphy won just about all of his one-on-one reps against some of the nation's best offensive tackles. It was only when he was asked to move inside for some late-session reps that he didn't have as much success.

"It's just a blessing, honestly," Murphy said. "It's been a really good summer and I feel fortunate I've been able to attend some of these big camps and be here at The Opening and do the best that I can. It's definitely been fun being able to get these types of experiences and I'm really just trying to soak it all in and learn as much as I can and keep working hard and improving. It's a great opportunity to go up against the best and really see where you're at."

ASU, Michigan and USC are some of the strong suitors for Murphy, who remains relatively early in the process and said he's likely to take most if not all of his official visits before reaching a decision. A list cut could be coming in the near future and he begins to narrow his focus.

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