Byron Murphy could give Arizona State fans something they've long hoped for but not yet experienced.
The Sun Devils have never signed three Scout300 national caliber prospect in a single recruiting class from the state of Arizona. Currently, ASU coach Todd Graham has received commitments from Murphy's close friends at Chandler High school, N'Keal Harry (No. 153 nationally) and Chase Lucas (No. 299), both four-star recruits and members of the elite Scout300.
Murphy (No. 124) would give the Sun Devils a terrific trifecta, and he knows it.
"That's definitely the biggest impact for me because we've been talking about this forever," Murphy said Monday, a day after his official visit to ASU concluded. "It's the biggest impact for me, that they're already committed. It actually stresses me a little more. I definitely talk with them about it as far as trying to figure out if it's the right place for me. Definitely going to college with them would be the best thing I think so far in our [friendships]."
A two-way star player at Scottsdale Saguaro who projects to cornerback in college, the 5-foot-11 170 pound Murphy is trying to figure out if it's also best for his football career.
He said the Sun Devils are making a pretty compelling argument.
"They were telling me I can come in and have an opportunity to play right away," Murphy said, with two senior ASU starters graduating at cornerback. "I actually talk with (secondary) coach (Chris) Ball a lot, we just talk every week, he checks up on me. That's a big thing for me. All the coaches, coach (Todd) Graham, coach Ball, (graduate assistant) coach (Ray) Brown, we talk pretty much every week so that's a big thing for me.
"I got an even better connection with the coaches on the visit. I got to eat dinner with them and just spend more time getting familiar with them, so that was amazing. They're great coaches and have done a lot with their players."
Walking around the Tempe campus along with his longtime friends Harry and Lucas was eye-opening, Murphy said, as was experiencing the Territorial Cup game as an official visitor of ASU.
"I love how the fans of the game were, it was awesome," Murphy said. "It was really packed and they were into the game. Getting to see the facilities and the education part of it was also great.
"It actually felt so good because just walking around we were just getting recognized a lot, and we got stopped a couple times, people wanted to take pictures. That atmosphere was amazing, the opportunity was amazing. It's something we've been talking about since we were younger so just doing it together was the best experience."
Having already visited Texas A&M, where former Saguaro star and teammate Christian Kirk is a high profile freshman, Murphy got a chance to see a newly refurbished, well regarded facility. He believes from what he's seen, ASU's stadium overall and new football facility will put it in a great position moving forward.
"I definitely think it's going to be an elite place," Murphy said. "I've seen a little bit of the stadium and stuff and I've seen a uniform they're going to have. I feel like everything they're building is going to be great and they are really trying to do a lot to make the program even better."
At this point, Murphy has cut his list to a Top-4 of ASU, Texas A&M, USC and Washington and he's perhaps only a few weeks away from making a college pick.
"So the process right now is really coming down to the end," Murphy said. "I've talked to a lot of coaches about the dead period (starting in the second half of December). I'm going to have a couple coaches come to my house to meet with me and my family. I'm going to do that and then just look into my heart and talk to my parents and see what they think and then make my decision. I think I'm going to make my decision before the Army (All-American) Game (Jan. 9). I was telling a lot of people I was going to make it at the Army Game but I think I'm going to make it before that now."