Alameen Murphy: Stanford Connection Back East

Look across the Potomac River from picturesque Mount Vernon and you're staring at Fort Washington, Maryland, home to defensive back recruit Alameen Murphy. Despite being a continent away, turns out his town is closer to Stanford football than one might think. We explain, exclusively here on The Bootleg.

Alameen Murphy attends Fort Washington's Friendly High. (Don't mistake Friendly High for D.C.'s Friendship Academy, recent subject of a lengthy, must-read Grantland piece and home of fellow 2014 cornerback recruit D'Andre Payne. To add to the confusion, Murphy and Payne are actually friends from little league ball; Murphy says he plans on asking Payne about Stanford soon.)

Instead, Friendly High has a football tradition all its own, with Joe Haden, a future All-American and top-ten draft pick at cornerback, quarterbacking the Patriots to a 2006 state title.

"Friendly High has a nice history of winning," Murphy told The Bootleg in an interview last week. "This was my first year playing corner for them, and last year was my first year on varsity. I had two picks, 40 tackles and 12 pass breakups."

Though he is a converted safety, Murphy will play cornerback next year, and schools are only recruiting him as a cornerback. For his part, Murphy is putting in the time to perfect his craft at his new position.

"I have a preference for playing up close in press coverage. But I've dedicated most of this offseason to working on off-man [zone] coverage. I want to work that into a strength. We do mostly man; you don't do too much zone in your high school."

So far, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, UNC and Stanford have offered, with two other potential suitors in the wings.

"Maryland, I went to their spring practice," Murphy said. "They told me to send tape and they might offer. I also plan on going to Penn State [this] weekend."

Still, Stanford football will start with a certain home-field advantage, as Murphy explains.

"I like the way Stanford plays," he said. "My coach likes Stanford a lot and bases our playbook off what Stanford runs. So I think Stanford can fit me well.

"We have some formations based off what we see Stanford does, just because he likes the gimmicks Stanford runs. On offense, we bring in a tight end and have a tight formation, like Stanford. Our formation is called "Stanford" when we run that formation."

Murphy's next step will be to experience the real thing in person, as he prepares for a June 17-21 visit to the Farm.

"I'm excited about all my visits, but I really want to get a chance to see Stanford given the good things I've heard about that campus. … I just want to see a little bit more. I plan on going down in June and plan on seeing campus. Hopefully I can see them practice."

The trip will not only be Murphy's first to Stanford, but his first foray west of the Mississippi.

"It's going to be my first time ever to the West Coast. The furthest west I've ever been was probably Alabama, to see my grandparents down there."

Murphy seems close to his family, with The Bootleg interviewing him just before he took his mom to the movies. However, he insists the cross-country distance between California and Maryland will not be prohibitive should he otherwise wish to attend Stanford.

"It's not really as big of a deal as it may seem. Of course I want to stay close to my family, but I don't think my mom would mind me getting a good education. So I'm looking for the best fit for me and having fun with what I'm doing."

The "fit" word can mean something different to every recruit, but to Murphy, fit with a college will center upon the relationships he can build.

"I want to see good relationships with their players, between coach and player, because that means a lot to me. My coach has a very, very close relationship to his players, and I hope [Stanford's coaches] care about that too."

Murphy reports a 3.8 GPA and plans on retaking his SATs.

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