VAUGHT: Murphy close to decision

Monroe County offensive lineman Billy Joe Murphy continues to insist he'll make his college choice within the next week even though he's apparently continuing to have trouble separating his top choices.

"My problem is I really like them all. They are all first class places," Murphy said. His top four schools are Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Louisville and Western Kentucky. He continues to keep Division I-AA Western on his list because of its proximity to Monroe County and his whole family, including his sister now, attended Western.

Vanderbilt is the next closest school to his home and he likes head coach Bobby Johnson. "I like the small campus because it is so easy to get around. It offers a great education. The minus would be the stability of the football team. I think it is on the rise, but Vanderbilt is not known for football," Murphy said.

Obviously, Louisville has the winningest program and that has intrigued Murphy even though he says you find a Louisville fan "once in a blue moon" near his hometown. "I love to win and that's a big plus for Louisville. It's hard to walk away from that winning. The minus is I've grown up a UK fan," he said.

Murphy says he "loves" the UK coaches. The concern is that Kentucky, like Vanderbilt, is not known for football even though he says he's "positive" the recent recruiting classes have UK on the rise.

"It's hard not to think about doing something special at UK. It would be great to say I helped a team get on the rise. The campus and facilities are first class. The coaches are great. I've always been a UK fan and that emotion is hard to eliminate," Murphy said.

Murphy, who wants to be a football coach, also likes UK assistant coach Chuck Smith. He knows how Smith built Boyle County into one of Kentucky's best high school programs before he joined Rich Brooks' staff.

"He's done everything he could to recruit me. He's a great guy and stays in touch a lot," Murphy said. "I really like him and he's a great role model for in-state recruits because of how successful he has been. He played at UK. He coached in the state. He knows what high school athletes are like today where some older coaches have kind of lost touch. He was born and raised in Kentucky and has helped me understand what playing at Kentucky could do for me once I graduate. He's made sure I know all the pluses for attending UK."

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