Son of MLB All-Star Gets BYU Football Offer

In the history of the Major League Baseball, only five players have won back-to-back National League MVP honors. Dale Murphy accomplished that feat in 1982 and 1983. Today, 25 years later, Murphy has passed the torch to his son. As you would expect, Jake Murphy is a talented baseball player, but it is his skill on the gridiron that earned him his first D-I scholarship offer.

Last week, Jake Murphy and his parents were in the office of BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall when he received his first scholarship offer.

"I went up there Wednesday of last week, and I talked to Bronco and he offered me a scholarship," said Murphy. "It's really exciting, and I've always watched BYU's football team and have always thought that I would like to go there.

"I was kind of in shock because I've always wanted a scholarship. It was exciting and I was really happy. I grew up in Utah most of my life and I've always cheered for BYU whenever they played."

So what did his father Dale Murphy think of his son's scholarship offer from Coach Mendenhall?

"He was just as excited as me," said Murphy. "He played football up until the 9th grade and he said he wishes he could have stayed with it. He's always giving me good advice and is a good example. He gives me good advice whenever I'm discouraged both in football and in baseball so it's great to have a father like him who is there for me."

At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Murphy plays both ways as a wide receiver and a safety for the Cavemen of American Fork High School.

"I started playing both ways my junior year," said Murphy. "I don't know my exact stats but I think I had around 30 catches for around 530 yards and eight touchdowns."

Although he can play both ways, Murphy prefers to play wide receiver.

"I like to play wide receiver," said Murphy. "I like to be able to make plays and like playing offense the most, but it's definitely an advantage being 6-5 when you're playing safety and there's a jump ball. It's also a challenge keeping up with the smaller wide receivers but its fun."

Coach Mendenhall told Murphy he sees him as an athlete who opens up a wide range of possibilities for his coaching staff.

"I can bench 235 and can do 185 around ten times but I don't know how much I can clean or squat," said Murphy. "I've got good forty speed and I'm really quick straight on. I ran a 4.6 forty flat. I was timed at some coaching thing.

"I have a brother that played offensive line up at Utah State and Mendenhall said that he can tell that I'm still growing. He started naming off all these positions and said that it depends on how big I'll be by my senior year, so he said anywhere from tight end to safety depending on my size and speed at the time. The main positions that he said were wide receiver, safety or tight end. It just depends on what happens, but mainly wide receiver or safety is what I'm hoping for.

"He also went to American Fork High School and so he started off by talking about American Fork. He then talked about my season and then after that he stood up and grabbed the scholarship letter and handed it to me and my parents and went over that with us. He told me how much time I had to commit and that if I do commit that he expected me to hold to that commitment."

Murphy got a chance to see and talk with BYU's head coach up close and personal. Like most report, Coach Mendenhall left a good impression.

"I can tell he's really nice," said Murphy. "He's very polite, and I could tell that throughout the entire meeting that he would be a really good coach. He's the kind of guy that really makes his players want to play for him."

So how would it be to come in and play in BYU's offense as a 6-foot-5, 215-pound wide receiver?

"They do pass a lot," said Murphy. "Jonny Harline was one of their leading receivers last year, so to get that big and be in that offense would be great no matter what happens."

Not only does Murphy play both offense and defense for his high school football team, but he is also following in the footsteps of his father on the baseball field. Murphy wants to wait until after the baseball season ends before committing to a college of his choice.

"I also play baseball so I'm not going to make a decision until after the baseball season on what I'm going to do," Murphy said. "I haven't committed anywhere yet. I'm going to go to some combines over this summer and see if I can get some interests from others as well. I'm going to be playing baseball for my school also and my dad used to play baseball for the pros, so I'm being looked at for baseball by a couple of schools as well so I kind of want to wait and see how things go. But even if other schools do offer me a scholarship, BYU will be one of my top schools for sure. I've always like USC and mainly Pac-10 schools or schools here on the west coast."

For his exploits on the gridiron, Murphy received some local accolades.

"I got first team all-region," Murphy said. "I also got honorable mention all-Utah County and team MVP for baseball. We're just starting our first baseball game on Wednesday."

Murphy wants to hold off in making a decision to see what his overall options are in both sports and then determine what the best choice is.

"I am LDS and I plan to go on a mission so that will factor into my decision on where I chose to play," Murphy said. "Some things that I'm looking for in a college are the coaches and the surroundings. I want to see the atmosphere and the campus and all that, and that's one reason why I like BYU because I'm already familiar with all of that. Also a couple of my friends go to BYU that I played with last year.

"I'm good friends with one kid who plays for BYU and is on a mission right now named Rhen Brown. He plays wide receiver for BYU and transferred to Lone Peak last year from South Carolina. I became really good friends with him last year. I'm also good friends with Jordan Steffen who plays cornerback. He's a preferred walk-on though and not on scholarship."

On top of playing both football and baseball, Murphy also played basketball last year.

"I played basketball this year but I don't think I'll play next year," Murphy said. "I played all three years here. I'll be concentrating on football during my senior season so I just want to workout really hard in the off-season. I just want to get ready for that."

Murphy has goals of improving on his 4.6 speed in preparation for next year and at the college level.

"I want to work on getting quicker and faster for sure," said Murphy. "I know that if I got a lot quicker on the field it would definitely be an advantage for me at the next level for sure."


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