Previous Relationship Guiding JUCO WR Henri Murphy?

After spending a year at the junior college level, wide receiver Henri Murphy is looking highly on a familiar bond.

            It’s been a case of a few sharp turns. Or rather, a journey that’s changed course a few times.

            Coming out of high school last spring, wide receiver Henri Murphy signed his letter of intent with nearby Henderson State (Ark.). Very late in the process, Memphis offered a full scholarship, but by that point, Murphy couldn’t wrangle himself out of his letter of intent with Henderson State.

            As a result, Murphy spent this past school year at East Central community college (Miss.). And after a strong season last fall, Murphy now has eight offers, most recently from Virginia Tech, Arizona and Toledo. But a decision might still be a ways off.

            “I’m very happy I did this,” Murphy said of going the junior college route. “Coming out of high school, I signed with a D-II school. I planned on going to Memphis, but the school didn’t want to release me. If I had gone to a D-II school, I would have been a D-II guy. Them not releasing me made me mad at first, but them not releasing me has made me get offers I thought I never would get. I made the most out of it and I’m playing for more.”

            Now, Murphy has his sights on finding his next home.

            “First I’m looking for a school that has a great academic program,” he said. “They need great coaches, cool coaches to be around, a great atmosphere, a good place to be in, a safe city to be in and a safe state to be in.”

            It’s been a case of a few sharp turns. Or rather, a journey that’s changed course a few times.

            Coming out of high school last spring, wide receiver Henri Murphy signed his letter of intent with nearby Henderson State (Ark.). Very late in the process, Memphis offered a full scholarship, but by that point, Murphy couldn’t wrangle himself out of his letter of intent with Henderson State.

            As a result, Murphy spent this past school year at East Central community college (Miss.). And after a strong season last fall, Murphy now has eight offers, most recently from Virginia Tech, Arizona and Toledo. But a decision might still be a ways off.

            “I’m very happy I did this,” Murphy said of going the junior college route. “Coming out of high school, I signed with a D-II school. I planned on going to Memphis, but the school didn’t want to release me. If I had gone to a D-II school, I would have been a D-II guy. Them not releasing me made me mad at first, but them not releasing me has made me get offers I thought I never would get. I made the most out of it and I’m playing for more.”

            Now, Murphy has his sights on finding his next home.

            “First I’m looking for a school that has a great academic program,” he said. “They need great coaches, cool coaches to be around, a great atmosphere, a good place to be in, a safe city to be in and a safe state to be in.”

            Murphy has some familiarity in his search as well. It was Hokies special teams coordinator James Shibest who made Murphy the offer when he was at Memphis. Shibest also helped Murphy find East Central.

            “I feel like Coach Shibest is a great guy, a great coach, a cool coach,” Murphy said. “He shows that he cares about his players. He’s just overall a great coach.”

            Murphy said the two have also stayed in steady contact over the past year and the message hasn’t changed.

            “He’s been telling me the same thing, that he’s gonna evaluate me on both sides of the ball,” Murhy said of Shibest. “He said he feels like I can play as soon as I get there, the same as at Memphis. I’m just following his word.”

            While Murphy said he’s plenty acclimated with Shibest, he’s still doing his homework on Virginia Tech. But Murphy hopes to learn more soon.

            “I don’t really know too much about Virginia Tech,” he said. “Coach Shibest was telling me they have the most ACC championships. They’re a top school in the nation in academics. I just know Michael Vick came from there. I don’t know much about them, but I plan on getting to know them more.”

            Right now, one other school has caught Murphy’s attention. He hasn’t made any cuts on his list, however.

            “Right now, I have Mississippi State and that’s everyone’s dream to go SEC,” Murphy said. “But whenever I transfer, I’m gonna have two or three years left of playing football and I plan to go where I’m gonna play. So I don’t have to waste time, because I’m trying to get to the NFL.”

            Murphy has no visit dates set for now, but Virginia Tech is the one he said he knows he wants to see this summer. And as far as a decision, Murphy said it will likely come in December, when he can sign his letter of intent.

            That doesn’t mean he still isn’t making the most of one more football season at the junior college level.

            “I’m working on getting stronger, getting physical and getting better technique,” Murphy said. “If you have great technique, it’ll take you far. I’m working on my technique, getting faster every day.”

            Murphy has some familiarity in his search as well. It was Hokies special teams coordinator James Shibest who made Murphy the offer when he was at Memphis. Shibest also helped Murphy find East Central.

            “I feel like Coach Shibest is a great guy, a great coach, a cool coach,” Murphy said. “He shows that he cares about his players. He’s just overall a great coach.”

            Murphy said the two have also stayed in steady contact over the past year and the message hasn’t changed.

            “He’s been telling me the same thing, that he’s gonna evaluate me on both sides of the ball,” Murhy said of Shibest. “He said he feels like I can play as soon as I get there, the same as at Memphis. I’m just following his word.”

            While Murphy said he’s plenty acclimated with Shibest, he’s still doing his homework on Virginia Tech. But Murphy hopes to learn more soon.

            “I don’t really know too much about Virginia Tech,” he said. “Coach Shibest was telling me they have the most ACC championships. They’re a top school in the nation in academics. I just know Michael Vick came from there. I don’t know much about them, but I plan on getting to know them more.”

            Right now, one other school has caught Murphy’s attention. He hasn’t made any cuts on his list, however.

            “Right now, I have Mississippi State and that’s everyone’s dream to go SEC,” Murphy said. “But whenever I transfer, I’m gonna have two or three years left of playing football and I plan to go where I’m gonna play. So I don’t have to waste time, because I’m trying to get to the NFL.”

            Murphy has no visit dates set for now, but Virginia Tech is the one he said he knows he wants to see this summer. And as far as a decision, Murphy said it will likely come in December, when he can sign his letter of intent.

            That doesn’t mean he still isn’t making the most of one more football season at the junior college level.

            “I’m working on getting stronger, getting physical and getting better technique,” Murphy said. “If you have great technique, it’ll take you far. I’m working on my technique, getting faster every day.”


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