Murphy Ready to Move On

While Gator Nation is celebrating the return of Tim Tebow and anxiously awaiting the decisions of Brandon Spikes and Percy Harvin the Gator senior class of 2008 is looking forward to the future. That class didn't have a number of guys who will excite NFL teams, but one guy who will is receiver Louis Murphy.

The Gators No. 2 receiver ended his career in style, catching a touchdown pass in the BCS Championship Game win over Oklahoma.

Murphy played this season with a heavy heart after the death of his mother on Valentine's Day last year.

Murphy will not go down as one of the all-time great Gator receivers, but he had a solid Florida career and should be chosen on day one of the NFL draft in April. Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Murphy as the No. 5 senior wide receiver, but that receiver class will get a lot more crowded with the addition of underclassmen like Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin and Darrius Heyward-Bey among others.

Murphy had his best season as a senior (38-655, 17.2, 7 TD) and leaves UF with over 1,200 receiving yards and 13 TD. He never had the benefit of a redshirt season, but being a year younger might help him on draft day.

I spoke with Murphy after the Gators' Championship celebration.

LV: Louis, how could you asked for a better end to your Gator career?

LM: Oh man it feels great. It's just starting to hit me.

LV: As you adjust to that is it sort of a mixed feeling? You are leaving a place you love, but obviously there is a lot to look forward to.

LM: Oh there's no question, but all good things come to an end. I'm moving on, but I'll be rooting for those guys. I'm really excited that Tebow is coming back, and I think they can do it again next year.

LV: Could you feel your mom with you Thursday night? You obviously were thinking of her when you scored.

LM: Oh yeah, man she was with me all night. I knew she was going to be there and living through me.

LV: Was it extra special to score a touchdown in the final game of your career?

LM: Yeah, it made it a little extra special that I was able to get into the end zone. It was great. And help the team win the game, the national championship game means a lot.

LV: You didn't redshirt, but your freshman brother David Nelson did. How proud are you of the way David came on late in the year and made a bunch of big plays for the Gators?

LM: Oh David was great and his touchdown pretty much ended the game. The Gators are going to be fine with David, Carl (Moore), Riley Cooper.

LV: Are you excited about the next phase of your life?

LM: Oh I'm really excited. I'm looking forward to the draft, getting around new teammates and learning to play at the next level. It's going to be great.

Once the pro testing begins I look for Murphy to move up draft boards as teams realize just how fast he really is. He might last until day two, but if all goes well a third round pick makes the most sense.

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