It's A Waiting Game For Louis Murphy

Louis Murphy never had much of an opportunity playing in the tumultuous football program that is Lakewood High School. Despite being fleet afoot and having great hands, the St. Petersburg native had to play option quarterback as a junior, while his senior season saw yet another change in offensive philosophy.

Murphy caught only 26 passes for 520 yards and scored three touchdowns during his senior season. He desperately wanted to be a part of the excitement that encompasses the University of Florida football program and get a quality education majoring in either journalism or business. He hoped for an opportunity to make a splash early in his Florida career.

He had a few shining moments on the Florida practice fields in early August and struggled as most freshmen do when the team went into full pads. He was still on the radar but as the season began it appeared evident Murphy was due for a redshirt year. He figured the time adjusting to college life and learning Urban Meyer's offensive playbook was a given but he quickly discovered that change is constant.

"It's been crazy," Murphy said. "It looked like I was going to redshirt but then they decided to play me. They saw me step up and make some plays (at practice) and block. They really emphasize blocking so the coaches were just waiting to see me play. I've been working at backing up Dallas (Baker). They want me ready in case anything happens."

An early season-ending injury to Andre Caldwell along with bumps and bruises that have slowed down Jemalle Cornelius and Chad Jackson have done their part to kick the life out of the Florida passing game. Murphy knows that there is something else that has got him to this point.

"I think just working hard and sticking with it," he said. "I've gotten better at blocking and really showing up at practice and just doing what I have to do. They (the coaches) felt like I could come out and play so they let me come out in the Kentucky game. Ever since then I've been in the rotation, just backing up."

"I'm not getting as many reps as I'd like but that really doesn't matter. I'm still going to work hard regardless. Whether it's just going out there and doing special teams, I'm going to work hard to get out there."

Louis Murphy and fellow true freshman Nyan Boateng became fast friends on the recruiting trail. The two would talk occasionally and Murphy admitted last spring that he had a very good feeling that Boateng was coming to Gainesville before he ever publicly committed to the Gators.

"Nyan (Boateng) and I are roommates," he said. "We talk a lot, hang out, and go over plays and all of that. He's backing up Chad and I'm backing up Dallas. We know that we have to stay on top, so that when our number is called we can go out there and play."

Coach Meyer has floated the possibility of pulling the redshirt off of a third freshman David Nelson, who he said has made significant progress since the start of the season and appears ready for an opportunity.

"I'm a freshman," Murphy stated. "I'm just going to take it week by week. I'm not a veteran, so I'll just keep working and wait my turn. We hang out with David (Nelson), too. He is doing well. As a group we, the freshmen receivers in Coach Meyer's first class, want to take this class and prove that he can recruit players who can play."

Fightin Gators Top Stories