After a long-term foothold in Kansas, and two years at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, wide receiver Cole Murphy was ready for a change in scenery.
Murphy weighed preferred walk-on offers at Ohio and Rutgers as landing sports. It was a former Scarlet Knight that helped convince him to try Piscataway.
“I've trained with Kevin Brock at Simoneau Sports Performance, and he was telling me how life is going to be,” Murphy said. “They're in a drought right now but the goal is to get back to how dominant they were not too long ago. The guys you're grinding with are going to be your best buds. I'm excited about that. JUCO is great but you don't ever get to have that long of a bond. Rutgers itself, that was something exciting. It's highly ranked. It's all new campus over there on Livingston. Each campus is diverse.”
While Brock helped talk up Rutgers, Murphy chose the Big Ten for his own reasons.
“When I was out there for their game against Penn State, I saw there was a lot of opportunity to come in and compete right away,” Murphy said. “There's a lot of good things happening at Rutgers right now. They're rebuilding but you can see the pieces starting to come together already.”
Hunger for new life experiences also guided Murphy 19 hours east to New Jersey. Murphy played two years at Coffeyville, which gives him three seasons to play two at Rutgers.
“I didn't want to stay in the Midwest,” he said. “I felt that if I was going to stay in the Midwest, then it's something I could have done out of high school. I'm chasing the dream of going big. I wanted a change for sure. I didn't want to go to [Kansas State] or [Kansas] because I've been in their backyard and they didn't knock on the door. I'm excited to have this great opportunity outside of the area.”
From Kansas, Murphy has a tie to former Kansas State administrator Jerry Kill. Murphy cannot wait to learn under the new Rutgers offensive coordinator, he said.
“I have some buddies that went to K State, and they know coach Kill,” he said. “He's going to demand everything out of you. That's my mentality when it comes to the sport. I'm all about hard work. If I do what he says, then I can get to the next level.”
Murphy brings experience at wide receiver and quarterback during his football life. While he projects as a wide receiver for Rutgers when he enrolls next week, Murphy is open to anything.
“If coach Kill wants a wildcat QB, I'll be the first in line to offer what I can do there,” Murphy said. “... I feel like I can take on leadership roles. I've played quarterback. Even at receive, I had a leadership role at Coffeyville. You lead by example.”