Matt Murphy Commits to Iowa

Clinton, Iowa's Matt Murphy had received a gray shirt offer from Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes late last month. That gave him something to think about, but sitting out an entire year of competition was also weighing on his mind. That weight was lifted on Sunday after Kirk Ferentz offered him a scholarship.

The term ‘gray shirt' means different things to different student athletes.  When we spoke with Dominic Alvis a few weeks back, he embraced the concept, as he believed it would be a great boost to his future academic endeavors, getting extra time on scholarship.


For Matt Murphy of Clinton, Iowa, he wasn't so sure.


The Iowa Hawkeyes had offered him a gray shirt scholarship back in late Deecember.  The term means that a player will eventually be on full tuition, but they must pay their own way their first semester on campus.  That also means sitting out a football season without going through workouts, something that Murphy wasn't so certain about.


"Iowa said it was a gray shirt at the minimum, but if a spot opened up, I could get a scholarship this fall and begin practicing.  I was completely expecting to go into my college choice with the gray shirt from Iowa on one side and an offer from Iowa State on the other." Murphy said. 


"That was the one thing that was keeping me in doubt a little bit, from just picking Iowa.  Either way, it's full tuition, but it would be a full year away from football and you don't want to take a year off.  That was the one thing I had been worrying about."


Murphy's tough choice was made a little easier on Sunday when he had a visit with Hawkeye Head Coach Kirk Ferentz.  The conversation caught him off guard. 


"Going in to talk with Coach Ferentz today, I just figured it would be a ‘wrap up the visit' talk.  Then while he was talking he told me that Iowa was offering me the scholarship to be a part of this class, and I honestly didn't have anything to say.  I was kind of in shock, I guess you could say.  It just feels great that that is there."


Not a bad set of options for a person who at one point doubted football would even be in his future.


"I remember going into my freshman year, I wasn't sure if I was going to play football and my coaches talked me back into it.  I had been hurt my 8th grade year and I wasn't going to go out.  They told me that they felt I had a chance to play college football." Murphy said.


"Every moment I have ever had on the field, all the wins, the lessons from the losses, that is all put together into this moment.  That really shows…it really makes me feel that everything was for a purpose.  It all paid off in the end.  It shows that all of the work that I put in, all of the effort my coaches put forth really paid off."


Obviously, his visit to Iowa City this weekend went extremely well for him, and for the Hawkeyes.


"It was great.  I loved every minute of it.  I had met all of the coaches before, but we got to talk more in depth, and I got to meet some of the players and saw the academic side of things.  Everything that we did, I loved it."


"I have toured the weight room before, and have seen the stadium and all of that stuff, but we had never gone in and watched film with a position coach, or got to see the pink locker rooms.  We got to meet the equipment guys and they told us a lot about all of the different equipment that you get.  We got to learn a lot about everything that would happen in the football aspects.  In a way, it was like the unofficial visits, but it was more in depth than in the past."


Ah yes, the pink locker rooms.  Murphy had heard about them previously, but before this weekend, he had never set his eyes on them. 


"It's pretty funny.  You walk in; the walls are a little tint of pink.  Then when you turn the corner, you see all of the pink stalls, the pink urinals even.  Everything in there is pink, the floor and the carpet.  To have to sit in there, it would be funny the whole time, so out of the ordinary I wouldn't know what to think of it."


Murphy was scheduled to visit Iowa this weekend and was going to visit Iowa State next weekend, but after the offer came through, and just a few hours to think about it, he has had a chance in plans.


"No, sir," Murphy said when asked if he was going to take his visit to Iowa State.  I committed to Iowa today.  I am not going to Iowa State.  I seriously just got off the phone with Coach Ferentz and told him I was committing.  I called Iowa State's staff about a half hour ago and told them thanks, but no thanks.  My heart is in Iowa City."

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