UCF Eyes Northern Recruit

This defensive end has received a lot of attention early in the recruiting process and the UCF Knights are making a strong push.

Bryan Murphy has been targeted as a high-priority player for UCF. The 6'2", 215 lb. defensive end has received a lot of attention early in this recruiting process from some prominent northern schools, but the Knights are making a strong push to get the New Jersey product to head south.

With back-to-back state titles at Don Bosco Prep School (N.J.), Murphy has already seen his fair share of big time football and is used to the attention, but he has stayed grounded and doesn't let the attention from college coaches or opposing teams get to him.

"It's not that big of a deal," Murphy told InsideKnights.com. "Our coaches do a really good job of keeping us focused and making sure that we're ready for games. We really try to not get distracted."

Staying level headed is easier said than done at Don Bosco, which beat national power De La Salle H.S. (Calif.) last year and also narrowly lost to another dynamic program, St. Xavier (Ohio).

Now Murphy will aim for another state title with teammate and fellow UCF recruit James Kittredge. The two will line up on opposite sides of the defensive line this year, forming a tandem that will be nearly unstoppable. Both are being recruited by the same schools and they also took a trip down to UCF together in April.

"We are very close, he's one of my best friends," Murphy said of Kittredge. "We hang out all the time, so going down to UCF with him was neat. I'd definitely like to play with him in college. If it works out that way, that'd be great, and if it doesn't that would be okay too though."

Murphy thoroughly enjoyed his visit to UCF during the team's second Junior Day, and a large part of that was because he came away with an offer.

"I loved the whole school; the coaches were great. They were intense and their practices reminded me a lot of ours. I felt right when I was there."

Murphy's recruiting coach, Coach Panagos, has had a particularly strong impact on the defensive end.

"I really like him. We talk almost every night online and I think he's just a real nice guy."

What left the biggest impact on Murphy?

"It was by far the best campus I've ever seen. Everything was brand new."

That's saying an awful lot for Murphy, as he has visited Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Boston College, Maryland, Connecticut, Penn, Princeton, and Miami.

As of now, Murphy has offers from UCF, Pittsburgh, and Maryland. The Knights have offered the versatile defender as a linebacker, while Pittsburgh has offered him as a hybrid player.

"It doesn't really matter where I play. I moved to defensive end last year (where he finished with 12 sacks) but I played linebacker my entire life before I switched."

Murphy does not have a leader as of yet, and said he will take his time making a decision.

"I'd like to wait and weigh my options. I'll visit my top five schools and make a decision when it feels right. If the right offer comes along or something feels good, I would definitely make a decision then, but I want to take my time."

Ultimately, Murphy wants to go to a school where he feels wanted. The Knights have shown plenty of interest in Murphy, and he seems to feel warmly about the program in Orlando too. Fortunately for UCF, distance won't be a factor for the end, as he said he'd go anywhere that felt right to him. Early on, it seems that UCF is high on his list.

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