Friendly DB Enjoys a Mean Visit

The Maryland standout with ties to the Nittany Lions was at Penn State Friday. See how things went during his trip.

There may be no group of athletes more exposed to the Penn State football program than the members of the PrimeXample defensive back training center. The Maryland outfit headed by former NFL standout Troy Vincent and Roman Morris, father of ex-Lion Stephon Morris, has sent plenty of their pupils to check out University Park. Friday, they sent another.

Alameen (Al-a-mean) Murphy was the latest D.C. Beltway defensive back to check out a spring practice, taking in the Lions' eighth workout, and first outdoors, Friday.

“I've been hearing from Penn State for quite a while now, and coach Larry Johnson is the recruiter from my area,” Murphy said. “He said if you ever want to visit campus, you can come any day you are available. It's my spring break, so I decided to go see campus.”

A Class of 2014 prospect, Murphy made 82 tackles and picked off three passes in his junior season at Friendly High (Fort Washington, Md.), and already holds a Stanford offer. He didn't leave Penn State with one Friday, but that didn't dim his visit, either.

The junior spoke with a variety of coaching staff members, including head coach Bill O'Brien, who invited him to one of the Lions' Advanced Skill Camps this spring, an invitation he plans to accept. It will mark the first live action Johnson and company see from the 5-foot-11, 175-pound defender, as a previously scheduled trip to see Friendly High during the fall had to be postponed, according to Murphy.

“I thought the campus was beautiful. I haven't seen many campuses like that,” Murphy said. “It was huge, and appealing to the eye. The campus was nice, and so, too, was the stadium, workout facility, and I also know a couple of players who go there, too.”

Indeed, he is familiar with not just Morris, but also Class of 2013 commit Jordan Smith, who he trained with prior to Smith enrolling at University Park in January. His relationship with the current Lion allows him to gain a different perspective into the program, but he also is beginning to gain one through its coaches, too, specifically his potential position coaches.

Murphy spent time with both safeties coach Anthony Midget and defensive coordinator John Butler before the afternoon practice session, and came away impressed with both.

“They seem like pretty cool people. I didn't get to ask them what their base defense was or anything like that, but I could tell from watching it, and think it would definitely fit me,” he said of the coaches. “They were asking questions about my family and how I did this year, and just seem like pretty cool people. Coach Midget played in the NFL for a while, and they both seem like they have a lot of experience."

The junior went on to add that the Lions' practice, heavy in fundamentals, was “very organized,” and unlike many he has seen.

“I liked the way they ran practice,” he said. “I thought it was fast paced, and I liked the way it was very instructional, and not just doing things to do it.”

He was also impressed with strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald, and the weight room that he calls home. Murphy was quick to cite the speed improvement for Morris, which saw the former Lion improve his 40-time from 4.7 seconds to 4.3 seconds in just one year under Fitzgerald.

A weight enthusiasts himself, Murphy believes he would enjoy working under the fiery strength and conditioning coach, and believes he could see similar gains to Morris, as well.

“They put a lot of commitment into the weight room, and I like weight room stuff,” Murphy said. “They showed that they have commitment to the weight room, and they have stuff that we don't have where I'm from. The weight room really got me.”

Murphy will continue his spring with a likely trip to Maryland for its spring game, before heading to Stanford in June. He visited Vanderbilt previously on March 23.

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