Murphy missed time last week because of a sore ankle, and it was viewed by wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales as a good/bad thing. The good was that it allowed Murphy to rest before the season starts, but the bad was that it kept his senior leader out of the huddles even though he still tried to have his presence felt.
"I was jogging on the side, talking to the guys and telling them to work hard," Murphy said.
With some banged up guys, the Gators needed Murphy to step up this fall. It's a role that he's taken personally.
"I can't say it's my team because we're a team, but I have to be a leader," Murphy said. "Coach Meyer said it the best. We have a foxhole mentality. If one of our guys goes down someone else has to pick it up. With CI down, I've been taking some of the load working with the tight ends. We have to keep going. There are going to be a lot of bumps in the road, but we have to keep going."
Last season, there wasn't a whole lot of leadership. Andre Caldwell took the lead, but with a young receiving corps, most guys were just trying to learn their positions. With a more experienced group, more guys are stepping into those leadership positions.
"That's what we need to win," Murphy said. "We have to have some leadership on this team. It hurt not to practice [last week]. I wanted to be out there the whole time."
Murphy's effort and attitude have earned him plenty of accolades from both Gonzales and Meyer this fall.
"It makes me feel good," Murphy said. "I guess I'm doing something right. I'm just trying to be an overall good person. I've been through the fires and this is the year we've been looking for. I think we have a good chance to do it again."
Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski
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