The Opening: Murphy's Lost Battle vs Harbaugh

Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep DE Connor Murphy shares a longstanding connection with Jim Harbaugh, but that didn’t stop Michigan’s headman from creaming a nine year-old Murphy in a game of chess a few years back.

There hasn’t been a great deal of news on the recruitment of Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep defensive end Connor Murphy in recent weeks, but that has been by design.

“I guess I’ve been blowing off reporters lately, but the only reason for that is because I’ve only taken three unofficial visits and that was (Arizona State), Oregon and USC,” Murphy explained. This was actually this last weekend.  Yes I’m taking this recruiting process, trying to soak it all in while I can.  I’m trying to soak all the offers in I can.”

Lately the talented youngster has been surprised by the number of schools that have entered the fray, especially the ones that are from great distances away.

“At first (recruiting) was very exciting but it is starting to get overwhelming,” he admitted.  “All of these big time schools.  Alabama started talking to me and I was just like, ‘oh wait, I thought I was going to be a PAC 12 guy.  Now Bama is talking to me so maybe I’m trying to lean towards the SEC?’ Then Michigan is Big Ten… but it is kind of overwhelming right now.”

That’s largely why he is committed to taking his time so he can learn more about each of the programs and the coaches that run them.  The schools he has already visited obviously have a head start in that department.  And while he hasn’t yet visited Michigan, the Wolverines have a bit of a jump start as well.

Jim Harbaugh recruited Murphy’s older brother (Trent Murphy) to Stanford and established a very strong rapport with the Murphy family.  He even formed a bond with a very young Connor when the then Cardinal coach was pressed into duty as a baby sitter.

“I was only eight or nine years old at the time, so it was hard to remember all this,” said Murphy.  “It was after my brother’s football game, Coach Harbaugh and Coach Durkin I believe it… they were all coming for an in-home visit.  My mom was actually pregnant at the time with my current six year old little sister, Mattie May.  She was on her way, Trent just came in the door.  It was me, my oldest sister Kaylee (and) like I said my mom was on her way home.  She was having false labor pains, so she thought she was going to have the baby tonight.  So obviously my dad rushed her to Urgent Care, and then Jim Harbaugh, Coach Durkin and my older sister and my aunt were all there… so they were all kind of babysitting me while my mom and dad weren’t even there.  I’m pretty sure Trent was at the house.  Coach Harbaugh played chess with me on the floor and we drank milk together.”

“It was actually kind of funny… Jim Harbaugh, I remember this when my brother was playing at Stanford… Jim Harbaugh told us that he liked my family the best because of our milk (laughter).  He says that he judges every single family by what kind of milk they drink.  He said ours was the perfect room temperature, perfect thickness and everything.  He liked our milk.”

One thing Harbaugh definitely didn’t like was losing.  He never has, and he never will.

Not even to a nine year-old kid in a game of chess.

“If I remember right, I’m pretty sure that he did not take it easy,” said Murphy.  “I’m pretty sure he whipped my butt actually.”

“Those Harbaugh’s are competitive.”

Stay tuned to the Michigan Insider for part two of this interview during which Murphy discusses his plans to visit Michigan, his decision timeline, his criteria, and more. To view part one in its entirety press play below.

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