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
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.
"That was the one thing that was keeping me in doubt a little bit, from just picking
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
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
"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
"No, sir," Murphy said when asked if he was going to take his visit to